• Ceragenix Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Denver, entered a cooperative research and development agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta to evaluate Ceracide, the company’s antimicrobial coating for the prevention of bacterial biofilm growth on medical devices. The research plan will evaluate Ceracide using the CDC’s Biofilm Reactor, a device able to reproducibly grow biofilms in an environment mimicking the body conditions under which bacteria form such films.

• Cytogen Corp., of Princeton, N.J., and Savient Pharmaceuticals Inc., of East Brunswick, N.J., executed a binding letter of intent to negotiate an agreement granting Cytogen exclusive marketing rights for Soltamox (tamoxifen citrate) in the U.S. Soltamox, a cytostatic estrogen receptor antagonist, is an oral liquid hormonal therapy approved to treat breast cancer in adjuvant and metastatic settings, and to reduce the risk of breast cancer in women with ductal carcinoma in situ. Under the terms, Cytogen will pay an up-front fee of $2 million, sales-based milestone payments of up to $4 million, and royalties.

• Helsinn Healthcare SA, of Lugano, Switzerland, signed an agreement granting Therabel Pharma, of Bruxelles, Belgium, exclusive rights to distribute, market, and sell Aloxi (palonesetron hydrochloride) in France, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. Aloxi, a second-generation serotonin (5HT3) antagonist, already is commercialized in the U.S. to treat chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. Financial terms were not disclosed.

• MNLpharma Ltd., of Aberystwyth, UK, exclusively licensed to Avexa Ltd., of Melbourne, Australia, rights to develop and commercialize a number of HIV integrase inhibitors identified from MNLpharma’s Phytopure library. Under the terms, Avexa will fund the optimization, preclinical, and clinical development and commercialization of any resulting products, and MNLpharma will be entitled to milestones and royalties. Specific terms were not disclosed.

• NPS Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Salt Lake City, extended its strategic alliance with London-based AstraZeneca plc to discover, develop and market drugs targeting metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluR) for central nervous system and gastrointestinal disorders. Under the terms, the companies will continue the work for a minimum of three years, with options to extend for an additional two years. The original agreement was signed in 2001, and the first mGluR molecule discovered in the collaboration is in Phase I development by AstraZeneca. (See BioWorld Today, March 1, 2001.)

• Pharmacopeia Drug Discovery Inc., of Princeton, N.J., earned a milestone payment as part of its discovery collaboration with Summit, N.J.-based Celgene Corp., signed in February 2003. As of now, Pharmacopeia has completed its obligations under the agreement, though it could receive further milestone payments and potential royalty review if Celgene progresses collaboration programs into and through clinical development.

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