• ACE BioSciences A/S, of Odense, Denmark, and Nordic Vaccine A/S, of Copenhagen, Denmark, agreed to develop fast-acting vaccines, which could provide better protection to patients and can be delivered in parenteral, patch, or oral formulations. Initial work in the collaboration will focus on ACE BioSciences’ vaccines for travelers’ diarrhea caused by Campylobacter, using Nordic Vaccine’s non-alum adjuvants to enhance the protection afforded by the developmental vaccine. Financial terms were not disclosed.

• Affymetrix Inc., of Santa Clara, Calif., said the Korean National Institute of Health and Center for Disease Control and Prevention will use the Affymetrix GeneChip Human Mapping 500K Array Set for a series of genome-wide association studies in critical disease areas, such as diabetes, hypertension, asthma and metabolic syndrome. The Korean NIH will work with its academic and industry collaborators to generate more than 10 billion individual genotypes from 20,000 human DNA samples.

• Emisphere Technologies Inc., of Tarrytown, N.Y., said Novartis AG, of Basel, Switzerland, exercised its license option for the development and commercialization of an oral parathyroid hormone (PTH) using Emisphere’s eligen delivery technology. Under the terms, Emisphere is eligible for milestone payments totaling up to $30 million, plus royalties on any product sales. The agreement followed the January court decision favoring Emisphere in its litigation with Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly & Co., which effectively terminated the PTH agreement between those companies. (See BioWorld Today, Jan. 13, 2006.)

• Gilead Sciences Inc., of Foster City, Calif., said the FDA granted traditional approval status to its once-daily antiretroviral Viread (tenofovir disoproxil fumarate) and its fixed-dose product, Truvada (emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate), which combines the company’s Emtriva and Viread in a single daily tablet. Traditional approval was granted following review of 48-week data from a second confirmatory pivotal trial. The FDA previously granted accelerated approval for Viread and Truvada in October 2001 and August 2004, respectively. (See BioWorld Today, Oct. 30, 2001, and Aug. 4, 2004.)

• Open Biosystems Inc., of Huntsville, Ala., said Northwestern University joined its Open Access RNAi Program, gaining access to Open Biosystems’ whole-genome lentiviral shRNAmir libraries, including libraries that target the entire human and mouse genomes with multiple constructs per gene. The Open Access RNAi Program is designed to offer RNAi technologies without big financial burdens to individual investigators, while providing continual updates and technical support.

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