• Alkermes Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., said it received exclusive rights from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., to a family of opioid receptor compounds that it will use to develop therapeutics for a range of diseases and conditions, including addiction, pain and other central nervous stem disorders. Under the terms, Alnylam will take over research and development of any resulting product candidates, and Rensselaer will receive undisclosed up-front milestone and potential payments and be entitled to royalties on any potential products.

• AnorMed Inc., of Vancouver, British Columbia, said its board continues to recommend that shareholders approve the tender offer from Cambridge, Mass.-based Millennium Pharmaceuticals Inc., despite receiving a proposal from Genzyme Corp., also of Cambridge, to increase its tender to exceed $12 per share. Late last month, Millennium offered to buy out AnorMed for $12 per share, or about $515 million, after AnorMed's board rejected an $8.55-per-share offer by Genzyme. At this time, Genzyme has not formally submitted a revised tender offer, but if it does, AnorMed said Millennium will have the opportunity to match or exceed that proposal. (See BioWorld Today, Aug. 31, 2006, and Sept. 27, 2006.)

• Dyax Corp., of Cambridge, Mass., entered a nonexclusive agreement around protein therapeutics and diagnostics discovery with Trubion Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Seattle. Dyax will use its phage display libraries to discover compounds that bind with high affinity and specificity to Trubion's targets in oncology and inflammation. In return, Dyax will receive up front and FTE payments, and could get technical and development milestone payments and royalties. The agreement also provides Trubion with an option to license Dyax's phage display libraries.

• EpiCept Corp., of Englewood Cliffs, N.J., settled all outstanding litigation against a company with which it merged earlier this year, Maxim Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Diego. In one agreement, EpiCept paid about $700,000 and issued about 245,000 shares of its common stock to the plaintiffs. In another case, the plaintiffs will receive $1 million in cash and EpiCept stock equal to $1.3 million.

• GTC Biotherapeutics Inc., of Framingham, Mass., was awarded an additional grant of $1.4 million for its CD137 monoclonal antibody program from the Small Business Innovative Research program of the National Institutes of Health. The grant will fund process development, characterization of the antibody and efficacy testing in preclinical models in anticipation of future manufacturing for clinical studies. GTC licensed the CD137 antibody from the Mayo Clinic and obtained initial SBIR funding in 2004.

• Insmed Inc., of Richmond, Va., said the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia partly granted Insmed's motion to dismiss unfair competition claims brought by Tercica Inc., of Brisbane, Calif. The dispute centers on Insmed's Iplex drug for short stature and Tercica's Increlex for the same indication. In the ruling, the judge narrowed the scope of Tercica's lawsuit against Insmed, finding areas in which Tercica had not met its burden of establishing that the alleged statements made by Insmed constituted false advertising or violated Virginia law. While the court held that a number of Tercica's other factual allegations, if proved, would state claims for false advertising under federal and California law, the judge noted that he felt most if not all of Tercica's case could go out on summary judgment.

• Movianto Deutschland GmbH, of Stuttgart, Germany, signed an exclusive long-term contract to distribute Savene, a newly launched product of TopoTarget A/S, of Copenhagen, Denmark. The compound, an antidote to chemotherapy accidents, has orphan-drug status in both Europe and the U.S. Movianto will provide warehousing services as well as packaging, labeling and distribution to hospitals and oncology centers, predominantly in the European market.

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