• 7TM Pharma, of Horsholm, Denmark, received an undisclosed milestone payment in its research collaboration within therapeutic angiogenesis with Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals Inc., a subsidiary of Cincinnati-based Procter & Gamble Co. The milestone was triggered by successful progress in the preclinical development of drug candidates for treating diseases, such as peripheral arterial disease and coronary artery disease related to arteriosclerosis. 7TM entered the research agreement with P&G in January 2005.

• Algeta ASA, of Oslo, Norway, said its candidate cancer drug Alpharadin (radium-223) met the primary endpoint of a bone marker analysis of Phase II clinical trial data in hormone-refractory prostate cancer. According to four-month follow-up data in the 64-patient trial, there was a statistically significant decrease in bone alkaline phosphatase levels as compared with the placebo group. Positive effects on bone formation and bone resorption markers also were observed, along with an improved prostate specific antigen response in the treatment group. The data were presented at the ASCO 2006 Prostate Cancer Symposium in San Francisco. The company plans to release clinical data from the study, along with 12-month biomarker data, during the second half of the year.

• Biocortech, of Paris, signed an agreement with Columbia University for work involving the mRNA editing of the serotonergic receptor (5HT2C) in depression. The collaboration aims at understanding one level of regulation of mRNA involved in depression, and to identify therapeutic targets able to correct the dysregulations occurring in depression and suicide.

• Bioenvision Ltd., of Edinburgh, UK, said the European Medicines Agency adopted a positive opinion on the company’s marketing authorization application for Evoltra (clofarabine) in acute lymphoblastic leukemia in pediatric patients who have relapsed or are refractory to at least two prior regimens. The European regulatory body must now vote to approve the application, a process expected to take about three months. Evoltra already was granted orphan drug designation, which could guarantee 10 years of marketing exclusivity upon approval.

• Biofusion plc, of Sheffield, UK, spun out a new company, Genophrenix Ltd., from its pipeline agreement with the University of Sheffield to capitalize on the discovery of specific proteins involved with a biochemical pathway implicated in neuropsychiatric diseases, including schizophrenia. Biofusion owns a 60 percent shareholding in the company.

• BioPartners GmbH, of Baar, Switzerland, received a positive opinion from the European Medicines Agency’s Committee on Medicinal Products for Human Use for Valtropin, its product candidate containing recombinant human growth hormone. If granted marketing authorization, Valtropin would be used to treat growth disorders in pediatric patients.

• BioSystems International, of Evry, France, formed a collaboration with London-based AstraZeneca plc to conduct biomarker discovery using its technology platform. AstraZeneca will provide clinical samples and funding. BSI will retain rights to and income from diagnostic applications, and AstraZeneca will receive a non-exclusive license to use the results for its internal research and development activities.

• Biotec Pharmacon, of Tromsø, Norway, entered an agreement with Nottingham City Hospital NHS Trust, UK, to conduct a Phase II clinical trial of its soluble beta glucan formulation in diabetic foot ulcers. The double-blind, placebo-controlled study, which requires UK ethical and regulatory approval, is due to commence during the first half of this year and will involve 104 patients. A similar study is currently under way at two locations in Russia.

• Cellectis SA, of Romainville, France, entered a collaboration to allow Celonic GmbH, of Jülich, Germany, to use its Meganuclease Recombination System technology to develop next-generation I-SceI meganuclease-tagged host cell lines for biopharmaceuticals production. Cellectis noted that meganuclease technologies have been used in academic research for more than a decade, and is now becoming central for contract manufacturing of biopharmaceuticals and therapeutic proteins to allow for better control in generating stable producer cell lines. Financial terms were not disclosed.

• Genetic Technologies Ltd., of Melbourne, Australia, formed a strategic alliance with MetaMorphix Inc., of Beltsville, Md., to explore joint commercialization of overlapping opportunities in human health and diagnostics, as well as animal genetics and genomics applications. Financial terms were not disclosed.

• Genmab A/S, of Copenhagen, Denmark, delivered a HuMax-TAC cell line to partner Serono SA, of Geneva, triggering a $1 million milestone payment to Genmab. The companies agreed to collaborate in May 2005 on the development and commercialization of Genmab’s HuMax-TAC, a fully human monoclonal antibody that is in preclinical testing against T-cell mediated diseases. Under the agreement, Genmab received an up-front fee of $2 million, and is entitled to potential milestone payments of up to $38 million, plus royalties.

• MorphoSys AG, of Munich, Germany, said it plans to discontinue further development of its anti-ICAM program, consisting of preclinical therapeutic antibodies MOR101 and MOR102 for treating burns and inflammation. Instead, the company will focus its resources on advancing preclinical and clinical development of its anti-inflammatory compound MOR103 in rheumatoid arthritis. The status of MorphoSys’ cancer program, MOR202, will be determined after additional preclinical data is reviewed. The company also said its division named Antibodies by Design entered a co-marketing agreement with Chimera Biotec GmbH, of Dortmund, Germany, for the co-marketing of the rapid generation of monoclonal antibodies by AD and Chimera’s complementary Imperacer assay technology for ultra-sensitive antigen detection. Each partner will offer the services of the other to its customers throughout the worldwide market.

• Nycomed Group, of Roskilde, Denmark, and its partner, NPS Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Salt Lake City, said the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use recommended approval for Preotact (parathyroid hormone [rDNA origin] for injection) in the European Union. Preotact is the European brand name for Preos, which has been studied by NPS for the treatment of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women.

• Qiagen NV, of Venlo, the Netherlands, and ActiveSight, of San Diego, entered a co-marketing agreement related to protein crystallography for drug discovery. The agreement seeks to ease access to protein crystallization reagents and crystallographic services. Financial terms were not disclosed.

• Rosetta Genomics Ltd., of Rehovot, Israel, and Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Carlsbad, Calif., formed a joint research collaboration to discover and develop antisense drugs that regulate microRNAs for the treatment of the most prevalent type of liver cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma. Isis’ published research demonstrates pharmacological activity in vivo using well-validated antisense chemistry to inhibit miRNAs.

• York Pharma plc, of Hitchin, UK, identified malignant melanoma as a cancer target for its preclinical antibody program, YP004, based on a cell-surface receptor (RPE65) involved in the uptake of retinol. York has in vivo data demonstrating that inhibition of RPE65 is associated with a decrease in the quantity of vitamin A available to the cell, which resulted in a statistically significant decrease in cellular division in a cancer cell culture model.

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