• ActivX Biosciences Inc., of La Jolla, Calif., a wholly owned subsidiary of Tokyo-based Koran Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., renewed its strategic collaboration with New York-based Pfizer Inc. Under the terms, ActivX will use its chemical technology and high-throughput protein analysis to a number of Pfizer programs. Financial terms include an up-front technology access fee, along with research support payments from Pfizer.

• AdipoGenix Inc., of Boston, achieved a third undisclosed milestone in its drug discovery collaboration with New Brunswick, N.J.-based Johnson & Johnson for the identification of the molecular target for one of J&J’s active compounds. The collaboration, signed in November 2002, calls for AdipoGenix to use its human fat cell-based technologies for discovering compounds that reduce the fat content of human fat cells from J&J’s collection. (See BioWorld Today, Dec. 17, 2002.)

• Blue Heron Biotechnology Inc., of Bothell, Wash., was awarded a Phase II Small Business Innovative Research grant from the National Institute of General Medical Science and the National Human Genome Research Institute. The $769,250 grant will fund research to develop methods for assembling very large recombinant DNA molecules. If the research is successful, the technology will allow Blue Heron to extend its GeneMaker gene synthesis service to produce fragments of 100,000 base pairs or more.

• Caprion Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Montreal, said it acquired a therapeutic peptide with compelling preclinical and clinical data for the treatment of a variety of solid tumors, and it expects to initiate two Phase IIb studies in cancer by the fourth quarter. The peptide, originally named TT-232 and now called CAP-232, is being in-licensed from Expergen, a technology transfer and development organization. Financial terms were not disclosed.

• China Biopharmaceuticals Holdings Inc., of Nanjing, China, closed a $6 million equity financing, including a $900,000 overallotment. Proceeds are expected to provide further working capital for the company and its operating subsidiaries for developing, commercializing, manufacturing and distributing drugs in China.

• Columbia Laboratories Inc., of Livingston, N.J., completed its offering of 7.4 million shares priced at $4.04, plus warrants to purchase 1.9 million shares at an exercise price of $5.39 per share, to raise gross proceeds of $30 million. Columbia is a women’s health care company developing products using its polymer-based Bioadhesive Delivery System. (See BioWorld Today, March 14, 2006.)

• Crucell NV, of Leiden, the Netherlands, and its contract manufacturer, DSM Biologics, signed a PER.C6 research license agreement with UCB SA, of Brussels, Belgium, which will evaluate the cell line for research and manufacturing of monoclonal antibodies. Financial terms were not disclosed.

• DUSA Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Wilmington, Mass., closed its acquisition of Sirius Laboratories Inc., of Vernon Hills, Ill., which will become a wholly owned subsidiary of DUSA. The transaction is valued at $30 million, which includes an $8 million cash payment, a $14 million common stock investment, $5 million in future payments and $3 million in stock held in escrow for two years for certain indemnification provisions of the agreement. Neal Penneys will join DUSA’s board. Sirius was a privately held dermatology specialty pharmaceutical company founded in 2000 and primarily focused on treating acne vulgaris and acne rosacea. (See BioWorld Today, Jan. 4, 2006.)

• IDM Pharma Inc., of San Diego, said its European subsidiary, IDM SA, signed an exclusive licensing and marketing agreement for its osteosarcoma drug Junovan in Israel with Medison Pharma Ltd., of Petach-Tikvah, Israel. IDM will receive an up-front license fee and is entitled to a milestone payment upon regulatory approval in Israel, as well as royalties on net sales of Junovan. The product is an immune system stimulator designed to destroy cancer cells by activating macrophages present in the patient’s tissues. IDM expects to receive regulatory approval for Junovan in the U.S. and the European Union in 2007.

• MDM Group Inc., of Santa Clara, Calif., said its Biodefense Division entered an agreement to license a vaccine candidate against H5N1 influenza virus from Immunitor USA Inc., of College Park, Md. The Amivax vaccine has shown in preliminary studies an ability to protect animals against lethal virus challenge, and further development work is being targeted to identification of the optimally effective dose and immunization schedule. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

• Microbix Biosystems Inc., of Toronto, said interim findings of an independent evaluation confirmed that its technology delivers a significant increase in the yield of influenza virus used in the manufacture of flu vaccine. The laboratory found that Microbix’s technology results in more than a twofold increase in the amount of human flu virus produced through conventional industry methods. More experiments are scheduled.

• PharmAthene Inc., of Annapolis, Md., entered a term sheet providing for a merger with SIGA Technologies Inc., of New York. Following the merger, shareholders of SIGA will own about 32 percent of the combined company, with PharmAthene shareholdings owning the remaining 68 percent. PharmAthene also agreed to provide SIGA with up to $3 million in interim financing. The combined company, which intends to operate under the name PharmAthene, will focus on a portfolio of procurement-stage biodefense products targeting anthrax, smallpox and chemical nerve agents, as well as a pipeline of therapeutic and prophylactic drug candidates aimed at Category A biowarfare agents and emerging infectious diseases.

• Serologicals Corp., of Atlanta, agreed to acquire Cambridge, UK-based Cytomyx Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Cytomyx Holdings plc that provides ion channel cell lines and drug discovery services. The acquisition of Cytomyx Ltd. is expected to be slightly accretive in fiscal year 2006, and is expected to be consummated during the first quarter of 2006.

• Stratagene Corp., of La Jolla, Calif., said the diagnostics division of Bayer HealthCare Corp., of Deerfield, Ill., will purchase customized Mx3005P instrument systems for use in a new platform Bayer is developing for performing molecular diagnostic tests worldwide. Stratagene will develop customized software and system features for the instruments and will receive milestone payments. Bayer will use the instruments to expand its product portfolio.

• Syntarga BV, of Nijmegen, the Netherlands, signed a license agreement with the Georg-August University in Germany to obtain rights to cell-killing drugs. Terms call for Syntarga to gain exclusive, worldwide rights to manufacture, sublicense and commercialize conjugated products incorporating the synthetic drugs, which are members of the CC-1065 class and the duocarmycins, in antibody-drug conjugates and other types of conjugates for treating cancer. Financial terms were not disclosed.

• Targeted Genetics Corp., of Seattle, completed a public offering of 12.8 million shares of common stock at 39 cents per share to institutional investors, for gross proceeds of about $5 million. The shares were offered under the company’s shelf registration. The company is focused on advancing its inflammatory arthritis program for tgAAC94. It will use net proceeds of $4.8 million for working capital and other general corporate purposes.

• Tm Bioscience Corp., of Toronto, signed an agreement with Bernried, Germany-based Epidauros Biotechnologies AG for a coexclusive commercial license to Epidauros’ patents on a specific biomarker related to the P450-CYP2D6 gene. Only one other company has a license to that marker, and Epidauros agreed not to grant any other licenses in the future. Tm will provide an up-front signing fee, plus royalties on commercial sales of P450 Tag-It tests that include the biomarker.

• Viragen Inc., of Plantation, Fla., received about $4.1 million in gross proceeds from a private placement unit offering to institutional and accredited investors. The offering is expected to be completed this week with gross proceeds of $5 million. Viragen intends to use the funds to support its ongoing research and development and its regulatory strategy and international marketing approval of Multiferon. Dawson James Securities, which acted as the placement agent for the transaction, also entered a letter of intent to underwrite a follow-on firm commitment secondary offering to raise an additional $20 million.

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