• Antisoma plc, of London, signed an agreement to evaluate early stage cancer compounds from Brisbane, Australia-based EcoBiotics Ltd. Under the terms, Antisoma will choose up to three compounds from EcoBiotics’ portfolio to evaluate during the next year, and will have rights to license up to two of the compounds. Specific terms were not disclosed. EcoBiotics’ work focuses on molecules derived from tropical rainforest plants.

• Clinical Data Inc., of Newton, Mass., purchased Genome Express, a French genomics services company, in exchange for total consideration to Genome Express shareholders of €2.65 million (US$3.16 million). Of that amount, €200,000 is being paid in cash, and the remainder is being paid through the issuance of 123,179 shares of Clinical Data common stock. The transaction is expected to add complementary services to Clinical Data’s CoGenics division.

• Compugen Ltd., of Tel Aviv, Israel, said it is leading a consortium for the development of a platform to simulate the MAP-kinase pathway, a signaling pathway related to cancer. The consortium is funded by the European Commission, which allocated €3.1 million (US$3.7 million) over a three-year period.

• Invitrogen Corp., of Carlsbad, Calif., formed a collaboration with the National Institutes of Health Chemical Genomics Center to identify novel small molecules that modulate key signaling pathways associated with disease pathophysiology. NCGC will use Invitrogen’s CellSensor cell lines and GeneBLAzer beta-lactamase reporter gene technology to identify compounds that modulate disease relevant signaling pathways. All of the screening data from the collaboration will be deposited in PubChem, an NIH database that links chemical structures to biological activities uncovered through screening campaigns.

• Juvaris BioTherapeutics Inc., of Pleasanton, Calif., received an 18-month Small Business Innovation Research Advanced Technology grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for the testing of a vaccine ultimately directed against AIDS. The project involves the use of Juvaris’ JuvaVax vaccine platform containing an inactivated SIV (simian immunodeficiency virus) as a model for HIV, and the vaccine initially will be tested in rhesus macaques to determine immune response activation.

• Proteome Systems Ltd., of Boston, signed an agreement with New York-based Egenix Inc. to co-develop a semen-based diagnostic kit for prostate cancer based on the human carcinoma antigen (HCA). The companies will work together to optimize the detection of HCA in semen of prostate cancer patients. Initial work will be funded by Egenix, and the companies will share the rights for further development and commercialization.

• QLT Inc., of Vancouver, British Columbia, said the Court of Appeal granted a permanent stay of the injunction against promoting, manufacturing, selling and offering for sale Eligard. Also, QLT’s U.S. marketing partner, Sanofi-Synthelabo Inc. a member of Paris-based Sanofi-Aventis Group, is suspending sales of Eligard until the expiration of TAP Pharmaceutical Product Inc.’s patents on May 1. TAP, of Lake Forest, Ill., sued QLT USA and Sanofi-Synthelabo in 2003, alleging that Eligard, an extended-release injectable depot to treat prostate cancer, infringes TAP’s patent.

No Comments