• Antisoma plc, of London, reported positive data from its Phase II trial of AS1404 in ovarian cancer, with investigators' assessments showing a response rate of 75 percent for those receiving the company's drug plus chemotherapy, compared with 63 percent for patients receiving chemotherapy alone. Those findings were presented at the International Gynecological Cancer Society meeting in Santa Monica, Calif. Phase II studies of AS1404 are ongoing in ovarian and prostate cancers, with further data on time to progression and survival due over the coming year, and a Phase III study is expected to begin in lung cancer patients.

• Arteriocyte Inc., of Cleveland, said it reached the three-month patient follow-up point for its SEACOAST Phase I trial evaluating the safety of ACY001, the company's lead cellular therapy product. The study finished enrolling patients in June, and a clinical update will be reported at a scientific symposium later this month. ACY001 is an adult stem cell therapy harvested from bone marrow to treat chronic ischemia.

• Biovitrum AB, of Stockholm, Sweden, initiated a Phase II study of BVT.28949, a 5-HT2A antagonist for glaucoma, with results expected in mid-2007. The study includes 150 patients with an elevated intraocular pressure and is designed to compare the effects of BVT.28949 against placebo.

• Genaera Corp., of Plymouth Meeting, Pa., said safety data from 124 patients receiving its wet age-related macular degeneration drug, Evizon, a systemically administered small molecule designed to interrupt and reverse multiple facets of the angiogenic process, showed no clinically significant increase in systolic or diastolic blood pressure in Phase II trials. Data were presented at the Angiogenesis Foundation 4th annual international conference in Boston.

• Human Genome Sciences Inc., of Rockville, Md., reported 12-week interim quality-of-life results from a Phase IIb trial to evaluate the efficacy, safety and impact on health-related quality of life of Albuferon (albumin-interferon alpha 2b) in combination with ribavirin in patients with genotype 1 chronic hepatitis C who are naive to interferon alpha-based treatment regimens. The interim results demonstrated that all Albuferon treatment groups consistently performed favorably through week 12 compared to the pegylated interferon alpha treatment group, based on patient-reported disability days and health-related quality of life as measured by the SF-36 health survey. The data were presented at the annual Australian Gastroenterology Week in Adelaide, Australia. HGS recently said that, before the end of the year, two Phase III trials will start, testing Albuferon in chronic HCV. (See BioWorld Today, Oct. 5, 2006.)

• Nabi Biopharmaceuticals Inc., of Boca Raton, Fla., disclosed positive results from the PhosLo (calcium acetate) EPICK study in chronic kidney disease patients suffering from Stage 4 conditions. EPICK was designed to demonstrate that PhosLo is effective and safe in controlling hyperphosphatemia in Stage 4 CKD patients without causing hypocalcemia or metabolic acidosis. The study achieved its primary endpoint of superior serum phosphorus control vs. placebo (p=0.0003), as well as its secondary endpoints by demonstrating that attaining a parathyroid level target of 70 pg/mL to 110 pg/mL is more likely with PhosLo than with placebo, and by showing that attaining a calcium phosphorus product of 23 mg2/dL2 to 43 mg2/dL2 also is more likely with PhosLo than with placebo. The findings were presented at the International Society of Nephrology Symposium in Copenhagen, Denmark.

• TorreyPines Therapeutics Inc., of La Jolla, Calif., started a Phase IIb trial for its lead product candidate, tezampanel, a pain compound for acute migraine. Tezampanel is said to offer a non-narcotic, non-vascular approach to the management of headache pain and represents a potentially promising alternative to current migraine treatments, the company said.

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