• BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc., of Novato, Calif., said the European Commission granted marketing authorization for Naglazyme (galsulfase), the first specific treatment approved in the European Union for patients with mucopolysaccharidosis VI. Naglazyme has orphan drug status in the European Union, which confers 10 years of market exclusivity. BioMarin expects sales of Naglazyme to be between $28 million and $32 million in 2006. It was approved in the U.S. in June.

• Codexis Inc., of Redwood City, Calif., extended the term of an existing research agreement with New York-based Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., and expects to receive an undisclosed payment for having achieved the program's research milestone. The agreement was formed in May and focuses on improving biocatalyst productivity for an undisclosed product candidate using Codexis' MolecularBreeding directed evolution platform. Codexis will receive additional undisclosed research funding and an additional payment, at BMS' option, upon delivery of an enzyme for pilot-scale testing at BMS.

• CombinatoRx Inc., of Boston, and Fovea Pharmaceuticals SA, of Paris, formed a collaboration for the development and commercialization of combination drugs to treat ophthalmic diseases. Fovea will fund and conduct preclinical and clinical development up to the start of Phase III trials, and will, in return, receive exclusive commercial rights to selected products in Europe and certain additional countries. CombinatoRx also will grant Fovea an exclusive worldwide license to certain preclinical drug combinations to treat allergic and inflammatory diseases of the front of the eye. For the licensed compounds, CombinatoRx is eligible to receive up to $20 million in up-front and milestone payments for the first product candidate developed, an additional milestone payment for the approval of a product in a different indication and royalties.

• Cytori Therapeutics Inc., of San Diego, received an $11 million milestone payment from the Olympus-Cytori Joint Venture for receiving the CE Mark for the Celution System, a device aimed at processing adult stem cells from adipose tissue. The mark grants regulatory approval for the system in the European Union and other countries that recognize it. The funds will be used primarily for the development of therapeutic applications of stem and regenerative cells from adipose tissue.

• Devgen NV, of Ghent, Belgium, was awarded a €3.3 million (US$4 million) technology grant from the Flanders government to develop new technologies to protect crops against plant pests. The goal of the three-year program is to build further on Devgen's current technologies and to address plant pathogens that cannot be dealt with using the current commercial GMO technologies.

• GeoPharma Inc., of Largo, Fla., in-licensed technology from the University of Florida Office of Technology Licensing for the development of a therapeutic for primary or idiopathic pulmonary hypertension. The compound is a synthetic peptide with efficacy established through in vitro data and studies in situ animal lung models.

• Global Life Science Ventures, of Munich, Germany, launched Nabriva GmbH, a specialist antibiotic research and development company that had existed as part of Sandoz GmbH. GSLV is investing €6 million in a Series A round that totals €42 million (US$51.1 million), as part of a syndicate led by Nomura, and included Wellcome, HBM, and Novartis Bioventures. Nabriva, which was spun-out following Sandoz's reorientation as the generics company within Novartis, will focus on developing small-molecule antibiotics for use in community and hospital infections.

• Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Carlsbad, Calif., licensed its aminoglycosides program to Achaogen, a South San Francisco-based biotech company pursuing strategies to combat drug-resistant pathogens. Aminoglycosides are a group of antibiotics that inhibit bacterial protein synthesis and are used to treat serious bacterial infections. Achaogen will issue $1.5 million of its stock to Isis, which is entitled to milestone payments and royalties on product sales.

• Locus Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Blue Bell, Pa., entered an agreement with Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co. to apply its computation technologies for designing small-molecule compounds that are active against a protein kinase target identified by Lilly. Financial terms were not disclosed.

• OcuCure Therapeutics, of Roanoke, Va., received an undisclosed investment from the Carilion Biomedical Institute in Roanoke. OcuCure is developing compounds with dual properties - both anti-angiogenic and angiolytic - to treat age-related macular degeneration. The company's lead compound is being developed as a topical eye drop.

• Scottish Biomedical, of Glasgow, Scotland, entered into a research collaboration focused on the development of a new drug for diabetes with Chong Kun Dang, of South Korea. Scottish Biomedical will provide biology and medicinal chemistry expertise to optimize small-molecule compounds that have been identified by Scottish Biomedical as active against a validated diabetes drug target.

• Sucampo Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Bethesda, Md., said the FDA approved Amitiza (lubiprostone) capsules for the treatment of chronic idiopathic constipation in adults. Amitiza is a selective chloride channel activator that demonstrated in pivotal trials that about 60 percent of patients who used the drug experienced a spontaneous bowel movement within the first 24 hours.

• Vasopharm Biotech GmbH, of Wurzburg, Germany, completed a Series B round totaling €9.7 million (US$11.8 million) to support further clinical development of its compound VAS 203, a nitric oxide synthase inhibitor to treat closed head injury. This investment was led by EMBL Ventures, of Heidelberg, Germany. Christof Antz, of EMBL, will join Vasopharm's board.

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