• Acacia Research Corp., of Newport Beach, Calif., said its CombiMatrix group has established a cooperative research and development agreement with the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory. The agreement will focus on the development of a biomonitor device with biomarker-based microarrays. The parties will develop a personal health monitoring system using CombiMatrix’s CustomArray technology that will help the U.S. Department of Defense keep tabs on the health status of military service personnel.

• AvidBiotics Corp., of San Francisco, received an exclusive, worldwide license from the University of California, San Diego, for technology that centers on the discovery of a ligand-binding protein scaffold that accommodates 10 trillion sequences and is able to specifically recognize a broad and diverse array of molecules. The new protein engineering platform may be useful for diagnostics, prophylactics and therapeutics.

• 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.

• 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.

• Biovail Corp., of Toronto, filed a lawsuit seeking $4.6 billion in damages from 22 defendants who allegedly participated in a stock market manipulation scheme. The complaint was filed in the Superior Court, Essex County, New Jersey. Defendants include S.A.C. Capital Management LLC, Sigma Capital Management LLC, Gradient Analytics Inc., Camelback Research Alliance Inc., Pinnacle Investment Advisors LLC, Helios Equity Fund LLC, Hallmark Funds and several other businesses and individuals.

• Cytori Therapeutics Inc., of San Diego, granted Olympus Corp., of Tokyo, an exclusive right to negotiate a commercialization collaboration for the use of adipose stem and regenerative cells for a specific therapeutic area outside of cardiovascular disease. Cytori will receive a $1.5 million payment from Olympus, which will conduct market research and pilot clinical studies with Cytori over a 12 to 18 month period. The studies would be performed using the Celution System, which is designed to automate the process and methods developed by Cytori scientists to isolate and concentrate a high yield of autologous stem and regenerative cells without the need for cell culture.

• Forbes Medi-Tech Inc., of Vancouver, British Columbia, agreed to sell its interest in Phyto-Source LP, its 50/50 sterol manufacturing joint venture for $25 million to Chusei Oil Co. Ltd., the Japanese parent company of Forbes’ joint venture partner, Chusei (USA) Inc., of Houston. Phyto-Source and Forbes signed a supply agreement for Reducol and other wood sterols for a period of five years. Reducol is found in products that help consumers lower their cholesterol. Forbes now will focus on developing and marketing products, including pharmaceuticals, for the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease.

• GTC Biotherapeutics Inc., of Framingham, Mass., was told that the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use of the European Medicines Agency intends to issue a negative opinion on the market authorization application for ATryn, the company’s recombinant form of human antithrombin. The CHMP determined had concerns about sufficient immunologic data and the lack of clinical data from Atryn produced with an additional filtration step. GTC intends to request a CHMP re-examination of the submission. The company’s stock (NASDAQ:GTCB) fell 40 percent Thursday, or 90 cents, to close at $1.35.

• ImClone Systems Inc., of New York, said its partner, Merck KGaA, of Darmstadt, Germany, received a positive opinion from the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use regarding an application to extend the use of Erbitux (cetuximab), an IgG1 monoclonal antibody, to the treatment of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck.

• Introgen Therapeutics Inc., of Austin, Texas, said the European Patent Office Technical Board of Appeals upheld the company’s patent directed to combination therapy with p53 and standard chemotherapy or radiotherapy, following an opposition brought by Kenilworth, N.J.-based Schering-Plough Corp. This is the fourth case decided in Introgen’s favor, and covers its uses of p53, including the company’s Advexin molecular therapy product candidate.

• NPS Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Salt Lake City, and its partner, Nycomed Group, of Roskilde, Denmark, 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.

• Replidyne Inc., of Louisville, Colo., and Forest Laboratories Inc., of New York, said the new drug application for faropenem medoxomil has been accepted for standard review by the FDA. The NDA was filed in December for the treatment of acute bacterial sinusitis, community-acquired pneumonia, acute exacerbation of chronic bronchitis and uncomplicated skin and skin structure infections in adults. It is based on the results of 11 Phase III efficacy studies and a safety database of more than 5,000 patients treated with the product.

• Rexahn Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Rockville, Md., partnered with the University of Maryland’s Center for Nanomedicine and Cellular Delivery to develop cancer-fighting drugs and central nervous system therapies. Post-doctoral fellows will work at Rexahn to find novel ways of applying the center’s research and nanomedicine expertise to improve the pharmaceutical properties of Rexahn’s drugs in development.

• Sepracor Inc., of Marlborough, Mass., and UCB SA, of Brussels, Belgium, formed a licensing agreement relating to the antihistamine levocetirizine. The company has exclusively licensed to UCB all of Sepracor’s patents and patent applications in the U.S. regarding levocetirizine. Royalties will be payable to Sepracor on U.S. sales. Sepracor currently earns royalties from UCB on sales of the product in European countries where it is marketed under the name Xyzal and Xusal to treat symptoms of seasonal and perennial allergic rhinitis, persistent allergic rhinitis and chronic idiopathic urticaria.

• Third Wave Technologies Inc., of Madison, Wis., said it reached an agreement with Chiron Corp., of Emeryville, Calif., Bayer Pharmaceuticals Corp., of West Haven, Conn., and the affiliated company Bayer HealthCare LLC, to seek dismissal without prejudice of Third Wave’s lawsuit against the parties over patents related to hepatitis C virus. No licenses were granted or taken under the agreement and no payment was made to any of the companies. Terms are not being disclosed.

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