• Arisaph Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Boston, granted a nonexclusive, worldwide license under its DPP-IV portfolio to an undisclosed U.S. drug discovery and development company. The patent estate covers the use of DPP-IV inhibitors for the treatment of diabetes and lowering glucose levels. Under the terms, Arisaph received a significant up-front payment, and is eligible for milestones and royalties. Specific terms were not disclosed.

• 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.

• ConjuChem Inc., of Montreal, entered an agreement with investor group 1211417 Alberta Inc. to recapitalize and reorganize the company’s business, providing ConjuChem with a non-dilutive capital injection of $6.4 million in convertible debentures. The company will then transfer its existing assets and liabilities to a subsidiary company, the shares of which will be distributed to ConjuChem’s shareholders on a one-for-one basis. The subsidiary will operate under the name ConjuChem Biotechnologies Inc.

• Hollis-Eden Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Diego, submitted its formal proposal in response to the Department of Health and Human Services solicitation for medical treatments of neutropenia-associated acute radiation syndrome (ARS). The company is seeking to secure an advance purchase contract for its ARS drug candidate, Neumune, under Project BioShield. In preclinical testing, the drug has demonstrated the ability to mitigate the potentially life-threatening components of ARS in animals, and has increased survival in large numbers of rhesus monkeys exposed to a high-dose radiation.

• MorphoSys AG, of Frankfurt, 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.

• Procyon Biopharma Inc., of Montreal, said its shareholders approved the acquisition of Cellpep SA, of Paris, and the concurrent $18.1 million private placement of special warrants and units. The acquisition, announced earlier this year, is valued at about $33.6 million. Shareholders also approved the name change from Procyon to Ambrilia Biopharma Inc. (See BioWorld Today, Jan. 20, 2006.)

• PsychoGenics Inc., of Tarrytown, N.Y., and the Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) Foundation extended their research agreement to establish and behaviorally phenotype transgenic in vivo models of SMA, and test potential therapeutics using those models. As part of the collaboration, PsychoGenics created self-sustaining transgenic SMA colonies, and characterized the progression of behavioral and motor deficits in these mice over time.

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