• Advancis Pharmaceuticals Corp., of Germantown, Md., said Gordon Douglas was appointed chairman. He has been an Advancis director since 2000, the year the company began operations. Former chairman Edward Rudnic will continue in his role of president and CEO and will remain a member of the company's board. Douglas also will serve as chairman of Advancis' executive committee.

• Amgen Inc., of Thousand Oaks, Calif., said it expects to invest $1 billion over the next four years to expand its manufacturing capacity in Puerto Rico. The investment will include expansion of an existing facility in Amgen's complex in Juncos, Puerto Rico, and construction of a formulation, fill and finish facility. Amgen expects to add about 500 workers by 2010.

• Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Diego, said underwriters exercised an overallotment option to purchase an additional 885,016 shares of its common stock in connection with a follow-on offering priced on Jan. 26. In total, net proceeds from the offering is expected to be about $169.4 million. (See BioWorld Today, Jan. 30, 2006.)

• BioForce Nanosciences Inc., of Ames, Iowa, said it will formally close its merger with Silver River Ventures Inc. within the next few weeks, following the Jan. 27 shareholder vote to approve the deal. Silver River has changed its name to BioForce Nanosciences Holdings Inc. Closing of the merger marks the initiation of a new round of funding. BioForce focuses on technology and products for ultramicro- and nanoscale placement and patterning of active biomolecules and other materials.

• Calando Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Duarte, Calif., established a collaborative program relating to RNAi-based therapeutics with the National Cancer Institute. The program is estimated to last three years, and will focus on developing RNAi therapeutics to attack neuroblastoma.

• Cambrex Bio Science Walkersville Inc., of East Rutherford, N.J., a subsidiary of Cambrex Corp., entered a purchase agreement for all the stock of Cincinnati-based Cutanogen Corp., a privately held company focused on products for severe burns, for about $6.3 million. The purchase price consists of $1.5 million to be fully paid at closing, with additional payments of up to $4.8 million subject to the achievement of certain regulatory and commercial milestones.

• Celsion Corp., of Columbia, Md., said Natick, Mass.-based Boston Scientific Corp. advanced the second installment of the $15 million loan to Celsion, in accordance to terms of the August 2005 agreement. The second installment of $4.5 million increased the amount drawn down to $10.5 million. Subject to fulfillment of agreed milestones, the final installment could be drawn down May 1.

• Chromos Molecular Systems Inc., of Burnaby, British Columbia, acquired privately held Targeted Molecules Corp., of San Diego, gaining two antibody product candidates for the treatment of multiple sclerosis and acute thrombosis. Concurrent with the acquisition, Chromos completed a C$6 million (US$5.2 million) financing to fund operations.

• CureVac GmbH, of Tuebingen, Germany, received a €22 million (US$26.4 million) investment from SAP founder Dietmar Hopp, via his investment companies DH Capital GmbH & Co. KG and OH Beteiligungen GmbH und Co. KG. The funds will be used for clinical work against various types of carcinoma. CureVac focuses on immune therapies using stabilized mRNA molecules.

• FASgen Inc., of Baltimore, received a $500,000 investment from a new private investor, while it also received two foreign patents for its obesity compounds. The company received a European patent for its index compound C-75 and related weight loss claims in which the inhibition of fatty acid synthase is a means to control obesity, and it received a Eurasian patent covering CPT-1 in reducing weight.

• MedMira Inc., of Halifax, Nova Scotia, completed the draw down against its equity line of credit with Cornell Capital Partners LP, which was announced in January. Cornell has purchased 174,548 common shares at 60.16 cents per share, which is 96.5 percent of the daily volume-weighted average price over a 10-day pricing period for net proceeds of $99,750. MedMira is a global manufacturer and marketer of in vitro flow-through rapid diagnostic tests.

• Myogen Inc., of Denver, sold its wholly owned European subsidiary, Myogen GmbH, and the sublicense of its rights to Perfan I.V. (intravenous enoximone) in markets outside North America to Wulfing Holding GmbH. Under the terms, Wulfing has agreed to pay about $6.1 million on or prior to Feb. 10, and a royalty on future net sales of Perfan I.V., in exchange for rights to the drug, all of the outstanding stock of Myogen GmbH, rights to certain Perfan I.V. trademarks and all existing inventories of Perfan I.V. finished products.

• Nanotrope Inc., of San Diego, was awarded a $600,000 Phase II grant from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for research in nanoscale droplet technology to enhance drug delivery. The company plans to use the proceeds to advance technology for new drug formulations and delivery protocols. In a process that combines microfluidics and nantotechnology, Nanotrope's nanodroplet generator technology can produce drug "containers" that carry specific delivery instructions that enable the targeting of diseased cells and organs.

• SciGen Ltd., of Singapore, received a letter from Ferring AG terminating its supply agreement of human growth hormone for Singapore and South Korea. The companies are in negotiations to explore a continued collaboration in marketing the product for those two areas. The termination will not have a material effect on SciGen's revenues, and the company has taken measures to ensure an uninterrupted supply to its customers.

• UCB, of Brussels, Belgium, said the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use of the European Medicines Agency has issued a positive opinion to approve the marketing authorization of Keppra (levetiracetam) concentrate as an intravenous administration and for use as adjunctive therapy in treating partial onset seizures with or without secondary generalization in adults and children 4 years old and older with epilepsy. It also received an approvable letter from the FDA for the product, which will help patients in emergency seizure situations in which oral medication is not an option. Keppra is approved in the U.S. and Europe in tablet and oral solution formulations.

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