• Advanced Ocular Systems Ltd., of Perth, Western Australia, said QLT Inc., of Vancouver, British Columbia, is acquiring an exclusive option to license AOS technology relating to the compound rapamycin to treat a number of ocular diseases and inflammatory conditions. Terms include an up-front option fee and a series of milestone payments totaling about $3.5 million, plus a running royalty on sales of licensed products. The companies will cooperate in advancing the technology, with QLT taking responsibility for all development activities.

• Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., and Bioneer Inc., of Daejeon, South Korea, said Alnylam has granted Bioneer a nonexclusive license to provide RNAi research products under the Kreutzer-Limmer patent family. The family, owned exclusively by Alnylam, covers small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) and their use to mediate RNAi in mammalian cells. Financial terms were not disclosed.

• Antitope Ltd., of Cambridge, UK, signed a research agreement with Elusys Therapeutics Inc., of Pine Brook, N.J., in which it will generate a composite human antibody from a murine monoclonal antibody targeting antigen selected by Elusys. Financial terms were not disclosed.

• Bavarian Nordic A/S, of Kvistgård, Denmark, established Bavarian Nordic Inc. in Washington to expand cooperation with U.S. authorities on vaccines, including Imvamune smallpox vaccine, as well as the company's HIV and cancer vaccines. The company will play a central role in the registration of Imvamune smallpox vaccine with the FDA. Espen Kateraas has been appointed general manager, vice president, as of July 1. Elizabeth Dempsey Becker, director of public affairs and communications for Bavarian Nordic A/S, will be employed in Washington to strengthen the government affairs area.

• BioLineRx Ltd., of Jerusalem, signed an exclusive, worldwide licensing agreement with Gevys Pharmaceuticals Ltd., also of Jerusalem, for the development and commercialization of BL-3010 in chronic pain. The agreement involves the use of Gevys technology combining approved drugs to increase the potency of micro-doses of existing pain medications. This technology resulted in the development of BL-3010, which is designed to deliver pain relief with significant reductions in toxicity and side effects. BioLineRx expects to initiate a Phase I/II study with the product. Financial terms were not disclosed.

• Enkam Pharmaceuticals A/S, of Copenhagen, Denmark, reported preclinical data indicating that P2, a peptide mimic of the ubiquitous central nervous system receptor neural cell adhesion molecule, promoted recovery of cognitive and motor functions following traumatic brain injury. The company presented its data at the 16th Meeting of the European Neurological Society in Lausanne, Switzerland.

• Evolutec Group plc, of Reading, UK, said Case Western University in Cleveland is to carry out further preclinical studies of Evolutec's rEV576 in myasthenia gravis. Evolutec will supply the product, and Case will pay for research. That follows positive results in an earlier preclinical trial in which a single dose of the compound completely prevented paralysis and weight loss over a five-day period.

• Peplin Ltd., of Queensland, Australia, is raising about A$40 million (US$30.1 million) primarily to fund the ongoing clinical development of PEP005 Topical for actinic (solar) keratosis and non-melanoma skin cancer. The company will complete an international placement of 37.5 million shares at A$0.71 cents per share and 11.25 million four-year options to certain international institutional investors, led by MPM Capital, to raise about A$26.6 million. Also, the company will complete a fully underwritten non-renounceable rights issue of about 19.6 million new shares to existing Peplin shareholders at A$0.71 per share, together with 5.9 million four-year options to raise about A$13.9 million.

• Proteome Sciences plc, of Cobham, UK, announced an agreement with bioMerieux SA, of Paris, to use Proteome's biomarkers for diagnosing stroke. BioMerieux will test the biomarkers across a well-defined patient population. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Rosetta Genomics Ltd., of Rehovot, Israel, and U.S. Genomics Inc., of Woburn, Mass., signed a discovery and co-development agreement for a microRNA-based, non-invasive early detection test for lung cancer. The collaboration combines U.S. Genomics' patented Trilogy 2020 platform and Direct miRNA assay with Rosetta Genomics' microRNAs.

• Synairgen plc, of Southampton, UK, said it has new data supporting a second indication for its inhaled interferon beta product in treating chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The data showed the airway cells of people who smoke are unusually susceptible to the common cold (rhinovirus), and that is a major factor behind exacerbations of COPD. Interferon beta, which the company is developing also for the treatment of exacerbations of asthma, has been shown to improve the natural immune response to rhinovirus.

• Trinity Biotech plc, of Dublin, Ireland, signed a binding agreement to acquire the coagulation product line of Paris-based bioMerieux for a total consideration of up to $51.9 million. The product line comprises a portfolio of diagnostic tests and a range of automated instruments. Under the terms, Trinity will pay $40 million on closing, together with a maximum of $6.4 million after 12 months and a maximum of $5.5 million after 24 months. Of the combined deferred payments, $5.5 million is contingent upon the achievement of certain milestones for the product line during 2006. The transaction is expected to close in June.

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