• Amarin Corp. plc, of London, acquired global rights to an oral formulation of apomorphine for the treatment of "off" episodes in patients with advanced Parkinson's disease. The formulation provides absorption of apomorphine directly into the bloodstream after sublingual administration and has completed a proof-of-concept study that demonstrated oral bioavailability in human volunteers. Amarin acquired the rights from Anthony Clarke, Amarin's vice president of clinical development. Amarin is paying a small up-front payment, plus potential success milestones and royalties.

• Aureus Pharma, of Paris, and ChemAxon, of Budapest, Hungary, were awarded a European Eureka project along with pharmaceutical partner Sanofi-Aventis Group, of Paris, and academic partner the Budapest University of Technology and Economics. The goal of the project, called KnowTox, is to build a new knowledge base related to hepatotoxicity, as well as related predictive tools to extend the value of the system. Financial specifics were not disclosed.

• Bioenvision Inc., of New York and Mayne Pharma Ltd., of Melbourne, Australia, entered a marketing and distribution agreement for the cancer product Evoltra (clofarabine). Bioenvision granted Mayne exclusive rights to market the compound for certain hematological malignancies in Australia and New Zealand. Bioenvision will get milestone payments and a percentage of Mayne's net sales. Mayne is responsible for securing regulatory approval and government reimbursement in Australia and New Zealand. Further terms were not disclosed. Clofarabine has been approved in the U.S. under the brand name Clolar for the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia in pediatric patients who have relapsed or are refractory to other chemotherapies.

• Carna Biosciences Inc., of Kobe, Japan, and Enamine Ltd., of Kiev, Ukraine, signed a collaboration agreement to discover and develop lead compounds against a targeted kinase related to cancer. Carna has developed assay systems of more than 160 kinases using its technologies and expertise on gene cloning, active protein expression, purification and screening. Enamine is a provider of screening libraries for preclinical drug discovery and owns more than 8,000 compounds as kinase-focused libraries. The companies intend to license lead compounds developed to pharmaceutical companies.

• Chi-Med, a Chinese company that specializes in developing pharmaceuticals and other health care products derived from traditional Chinese medicines, began trading on the Alternative Investment Market in London The company raised £40 million (US$75 million) net through a placing with institutional and other qualified investors, valuing it at £141 million.

• Crucell NV, of Leiden, the Netherlands, signed a license agreement for its PER.C6 cell line with Upstate USA Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Serologicals Corp., of Atlanta. The non-exclusive agreement allows Upstate to use the cell line to propagate adenovirus containing small interfering RNA that will subsequently be offered for sale to the biomedical community for research purposes. The siRNA will be supplied to Upstate via a separate agreement with Galapagos BV, Crucell's exclusive PER.C6 licensee in the field of functional genomics. Upstate will pay a license issuance fee and annual maintenance fees, together with a running royalty. In other news, Crucell signed a pair of licensing agreements with Korean biopharmaceutical company BIOA&D Co. Ltd. The first relates to the use of Crucell's PER.C6 technology in the production of adenoviral vectors expressing ceNOS for cardiovascular disease. The parties also have signed an agreement that allows BIOA&D to use Crucell's ceNOS gene therapy technology. BIOA&D will pay a signing fee, annual maintenance fees and milestone payments upon commercialization.

• Debiopharm Group, of Lausanne, Switzerland, and TcLand SA, of Nantes, France, signed an exclusive in-licensing option agreement for the development of the fusion protein sc28AT, a CD28 antagonist in preclinical studies. Debiopharm will invest equity into TcLand and fund the research and development of sc28AT conducted by TcLand up to an investigational new drug application. Upon exercise of its exclusive option to in-license the molecule, Debiopharm will fully manage and fund further development activities of sc28AT, up to at least completion of Phase II, before out-licensing to sales and marketing partners. TcLand gets milestone payments and royalties.

• ExonHit Therapeutics SA, of Paris, filed a patent application with the French Intellectual Property Institute covering a panel of genes that could enable Alzheimer's disease to be diagnosed in the blood. Using its gene-profiling technology, ExonHit identified a molecular fingerprint in the immune system resulting from changes brought about by the neuro-degeneration that takes place in Alzheimer's patients. That enabled the company to discover the underlying alternative splicing alterations in the modified cells of the immune system, which are present in patients suffering from the disease.

• Flamel Technologies, of Lyon, France, received a $1 million milestone payment from London-based GlaxoSmithKline plc. The payment was triggered by successful completion of activities relating to the manufacturing process for Coreg CR microparticles. Flamel and GSK completed a supply agreement in December 2004 under which Flamel is responsible for manufacturing Coreg CR microparticles.

• Galapagos NV, of Mechelen, Belgium, said its BioFocus service division signed an exclusive marketing and sales agreement with Upstate, a wholly owned subsidiary of Serologicals Corp., of Atlanta. Upstate will use its manufacturing, marketing, sales, customer support and technical assistance organization to promote Galapagos' adenovirus products worldwide, excluding Japan. In return, Galapagos will receive double-digit royalties.

• GPC Biotech AG, of Martinsried, Germany, and Pharmion GmbH, a wholly owned subsidiary of Pharmion Corp., of Boulder, Colo., reported that the independent data monitoring board for the pivotal Phase III study of satraplatin said it wishes to conduct an expedited interim analysis of overall survival data from the trial. The companies agreed to the request, and the board is expected to meet to discuss the data before the end of the quarter. Last month, the board recommended that the SPARC (Satraplatin and Prednisone Against Refractory Cancer) study continue as planned following an interim efficacy analysis. The trial's endpoint is progression-free survival. GPC licensed commercialization rights to satraplatin to Pharmion for Europe, Turkey, the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand.

• IntegraGen SA, of Evry, France, appointed Jörg Leenings head of sales and marketing at its Competence Center for MODY (Maturity Onset Diabetes of the Young) diabetes and other genetic causes of diabetes, which is based in Bonn, Germany. Leenings was previously sales and marketing manager of BIO-RAD Laboratories GmbH, of Munich, Germany.

• Jerini AG, of Berlin, and Baxter AG, of Deerfield, Ill., reported progress in their collaborative research program to develop a non-intravenous therapy for hemophilia, stating that extensive in vitro and in vivo analyses identified several synthetic lead molecules with promising pharmacological properties for further development. The companies began working together in 2001, expanding the agreement in 2004. Under the terms, Jerini received an up-front payment, and could receive milestones and royalties.

• MorphoSys AG, of Munich, Germany, agreed to grant two years of access to its HuCAL Gold technology to Schering-Plough Corp., of Kenilworth, N.J. for research and development of human therapeutic antibodies. The contract provides Schering-Plough with the option to develop HuCAL-derived antibodies against up to 10 disease-related targets. In exchange, MorphoSys will receive an up-front payment, annual user fees and optional R&D funding. For therapeutic antibody projects undertaken by Schering-Plough, MorphoSys is eligible to receive license and milestone payments related to advancing projects in clinical development, and royalties on resulting HuCAL antibodies. Specific financial terms were not disclosed.

• Proximagen Neuroscience plc, of London, agreed to in-license candidates for the treatment of central nervous system disorders from Richard Silverman at Northwestern University in Chicago. Silverman was responsible for the discovery of Lyrica, a treatment for neuropathic pain that is marketed by Pfizer Inc.

• SkyePharma plc, of London, agreed to develop a controlled-release version of nisoldipine, a treatment for hypertension, for First Horizon Pharmaceutical Corp., of Alpharetta, Ga. The deal involves $1 million on signing with another $4 million up to FDA approval, which is expected in 2008. SkyePharma will manufacture the product and will be entitled to a mid-single-digit royalty on sales.

• TopoTarget A/S, of Copenhagen, Denmark, has exercised its option to purchase a drug program under the agreement entered in late 2005 with BioImage A/S, also of Copenhagen. The deal gives TopoTarget full ownership of TOP216, an mTOR anticancer compound in preclinical development. Covered under the program is a class of small molecules which act via the mTOR signaling pathway.

• UK BioIndustry Association (BIA) joined forces with the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) to provide input to the government-appointed expert group investigating what went wrong in the clinical trial of TeGenero AG's TGN1412 antibody, in which six healthy volunteers suffered an extreme immune response. The BIA/ABPI task force is co-chaired by David Chiswell, founder and former CEO of Cambridge Antibody Technology Group plc and a former chair of the BIA, and Colin Dollery a senior R&D consultant at GlaxoSmithKline plc. The task force will contribute to the investigation, which is reviewing early stage clinical trial design in relation to biological molecules with novel modes of action, new agents with a highly species-specific action and new drugs directed toward immune system targets.

• XstalBio Ltd., of Glasgow, Scotland, entered an agreement to license its protein-coated microcrystal (PCMC) technology to Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma GmbH, of Ingelheim, Germany. The technology provides a new method for preparing biomolecules as stable, solid formulations, with the particles capable of being engineered for delivery in a range of formulations via various routes of administration. In return, XstalBio will receive milestone payments and manufacturing rights to the jointly developed manufacturing process. Specific financial terms were not disclosed.

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