• 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.

• Cubist Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Lexington, Mass., was halted for trading on Nasdaq Monday during a meeting of the FDA’s Anti-Infective Drug Advisory Committee to review a supplemental new drug application for Cubicin (daptomycin for injection). The company is seeking approval for Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia, including those with known or suspected endocarditis, and late Monday, the panel said it supported the use to treat infections of the bloodstream and heart inflammation, but it did not take a formal vote. The drug was approved for complicated skin infections in September 2003. (See BioWorld Today, Sept. 16, 2003.)

• Insmed Inc., of Richmond, Va., filed a preliminary prospectus supplement to offer 20 million shares of common stock pursuant to a shelf registration. The company also will grant the underwriters an option to buy up to 3 million additional shares to cover overallotments. Lazard Capital Markets LLC is acting as the sole book-running manager, while C.E. Unterberg, Towbin LLC is acting as co-manager.

• Novavax Inc., of Malvern, Pa., and Bharat Biotech International Ltd., of Hyderabad, India, 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.

• 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.

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