• Allergy Therapeutics plc, of Worthing, UK, announced positive results for a Phase II dose-ranging study of its Pollinex Quattro hay fever vaccine. Three doses involving four injections were compared to placebo in 74 patients allergic to grass and rye pollen. All three treatment groups in the U.S. trial had dose-dependent increases in immunoglobulin levels with no serious adverse effects, and the company said it now plans to advance the product to Phase III.

• Amphion Innovations plc, of London, said Motif BioSciences, also of London, completed an about $1.9 million financing. Amphion invested $500,000 and now owns 47.2 percent of Motif, a population genomics specialist. The company focuses on the discovery of genes implicated in common diseases using data from founder populations in the Arabian Gulf. It has just begun analyzing the first sets of samples from the region.

• Artemis Pharmaceuticals GmbH, of Cologne, Germany, signed an agreement with New York-based Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., under which Artemis will generate genetically engineered murine models carrying selected genetic mutations for BMS to use in drug discovery research. The generation of the in vivo rodent models will be based on Artemis’ ArteMice and ArteMice Conditional technologies. Financial terms were not disclosed.

• Bharat Biotech International Ltd., of Hyderabad, India, and Novavax Inc., of Malvern, Pa., entered an alliance to develop a pandemic influenza vaccine for India and certain other south Asian markets. Bharat will fund all preclinical and clinical studies for those markets and assist in developing a manufacturing process for a vaccine based on Novavax’s virus-like particle technology. Bharat also will be responsible for sales and distribution in India and other surrounding countries, and Novavax will receive unrestricted access to all preclinical and clinical data and receive a double-digit royalty on all future sales located in those geographic territories.

• CeNeS Pharmaceuticals plc, of Cambridge, UK, acquired certain patent rights covering a synthetic method for the manufacture of its lead product, morphine-6-glucuronide (M6G), per an agreement with Innovata plc, of Nottingham, UK. M6G, which has reached Phase II, is being developed to have an equivalent analgesic effect to morphine, but with a reduced tendency to cause nausea, vomiting and respiratory depression. Financial terms were not disclosed.

• Covalys Biosciences AG, of Witterswil, Switzerland, closed its Series C round of financing. The company is offering products based on the SNAP-tag technology used to study proteins for drug development and life science research. Investors included BVgroup Private Equity, Novartis Venture Fund and Venture Incubator.

• D-Pharm Ltd., of Rehovot, Israel, said results of a Phase II trial show that its DP-VPA, its lipid modified version of valproic acid, demonstrates a significant reduction in seizure frequency relative to placebo in epileptic patients, with no adverse effects. Results also suggest a once-a-day treatment regimen and possible anti-epileptic protection even after a missed dose. Data were published in Drugs of the Future.

• Faust Pharmaceuticals, of Strasbourg, France, appointed Thomas Seoh CEO, replacing Pascal Neuville, the company’s chief scientific officer who had been acting CEO since the departure of Gregory Chapron. Seoh is a corporate lawyer who was with Guilford Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Baltimore, from 1995 to 2005, most recently as senior vice president, corporate and commercial development.

• IDM Pharma Inc., of San Diego, confirmed that it is to file a new drug application for Junovan, its immunotherapeutic product for the treatment of osteosarcoma, a bone cancer that occurs predominantly in adolescents and young adults. At a pre-NDA meeting with the FDA’s Office of Oncology Drug Products in February, the company discussed the preclinical, clinical, manufacturing and quality control data it is to submit in support of its NDA. The drug is to be tested on patients with newly diagnosed, non-metastatic osteosarcoma. IDM plans to submit the NDA before the end of this year.

• MorphoSys AG, of Munich, Germany, and F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd., of Basel, Switzerland, expanded their September 2000 relationship for Alzheimer’s disease into the new area of oncology antibodies. Roche will elect new target molecules against which MorphoSys will generate antibodies using its HuCAL Gold technology. Roche and MorphoSys will collaborate on two new antibody programs in oncology, with Roche responsible for preclinical and clinical development as well as marketing. MorphoSys gets an up-front payment and may receive additional research funding and future event payments totaling more than €10 million (US$11.9 million) per program, plus royalties.

• Pluristem Life Systems Inc., of Haifa, Israel, said it’s changing its business strategy to develop cell therapy products that can be marketed on a for-sale basis, rather than licensing out the use of its bioreactor-enabling technology. The company expects its first products to be cell grafts designed to provide an efficient alternative to the standard procedure of bone marrow transplantation.

• Zenyth Therapeutics Ltd., of Melbourne, Australia, exclusively licensed patents to antibodies targeting the receptor for the cytokine granulocyte-colony stimulating factor from the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research (LICR). The agreement also provides Zenyth with access to antibodies and reagents developed by researchers at the Melbourne LICR branch. The patents will support Zenyth’s collaboration signed last week with Victoria, Australia-based MuriGen Therapeutics Inc. to develop a drug to inhibit the activity of G-CSF.

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