• A.P. Pharma Inc., of Redwood City, Calif., sold rights to future royalties on sales of its dermatology products Retin-A Micro and Carac to an affiliate of the Paul Royalty Fund for up to $30 million. Proceeds of $25 million were received upon the closing of this transaction, and A.P. will use the money to fund pivotal clinical development of APF530, its drug candidate for the prevention of acute and delayed chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. The remaining $5 million will be paid based on the satisfaction of certain predetermined milestones over the next four years. With the sale, the company said it regained compliance for continued listing on Nasdaq by satisfying Nasdaq's stockholders' equity requirement.

• Ablynx NV, of Ghent, Belgium, signed a collaboration agreement with Novartis AG, of Basel, Switzerland, to discover and develop Nanobodies against a number of targets in various diseases. Ablynx will receive up-front fees, license fees and funding for research and development, and will be eligible for milestone payments and royalties. Novartis has exclusive rights to develop and commercialize the Nanobody products that result. Ablynx has discovered and developed Nanobodies, a class of therapeutic proteins based on single-domain antibody fragments, for inflammation, thrombosis, oncology and Alzheimer's disease.

• Advanced Viral Research Corp., of Yonkers, N.Y., said President and CEO Elma Hawkins plans to resign her position, effective Feb. 18, 2006. Eli Wilner was appointed as interim CEO.

• Antisense Therapeutics Ltd., of Melbourne, Australia, received approval from the Ethics Committee of the University of Essen in Germany to restart the Phase IIa trial of its antisense compound, ATL1102, in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. Patient enrollment and dosing are expected to begin in February or March to assess the activity and safety of the drug in 80 patients receiving the drug in twice-a-week subcutaneous injections. The company anticipates the trial to conclude by the end of the year.

• Avanir Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Diego, said its previously reported 1-for-4 reverse split of its common stock became effective, with post-split trading under a new ticker symbol "AVN.R." Prior to the reverse split, Avanir had 123.2 million shares of common stock issued and outstanding. Following the reverse split, there were about 30.8 million shares of common stock issued and outstanding.

• Biopure Corp., of Cambridge, Mass., closed an underwritten public offering of stock and warrants that raised net proceeds of about $3 million. The company sold to institutional and individual investors 4.1 million new shares of common stock and warrants to acquire an additional 4.1 million new shares. The price for one share and one warrant was 82 cents, and the exercise price of each warrant is $1.025. Dawson James Securities Inc. and Noble International Investments Inc. acted as the managing underwriters for the public offering. The company intends to use the proceeds for general corporate and working capital purposes. Biopure focuses on oxygen therapeutics.

• BioVeris Corp., of Gaithersburg, Md., entered an option agreement with TheraCarb Inc., of Edmonton, Alberta, for exclusive patent rights to a vaccine candidate for Candida albicans. BioVeris acquired a first option for exclusive rights to commercialize products for possible use in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of C. albicans infections. It will sponsor about $170,000 of research at TheraCarb through the first quarter of 2007 aimed at developing a vaccine candidate, and it will pay TheraCarb a $75,000 option fee and potentially a license issue fee, as well as milestone payments and royalties.

• Caprion Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Montreal, reported an additional research collaboration with ICOS Corp., of Bothell, Wash. The agreement in biomarker discovery will use Caprion's CellCarta proteomics discovery platform. Caprion will identify pharmacodynamic markers in plasma relating to ICOS's preclinical oncology programs. Caprion said its proteomics platform profiles the expression and identity of proteins detected in tissues and blood plasma.

• Crucell NV, of Leiden, the Netherlands, reported that Ark Therapeutics Group plc, of London, decided to renew its PER.C6 technology licensing agreement. The parties have negotiated research and also commercial terms for Ark's development and manufacture of gene-based medicine using Crucell's PER.C6 technology.

• DeCode Genetics Inc., of Reykjavik, Iceland, acquired privately held Icelandic cancer research firm Urdur, Verdandi Skuld, for $5.5 million to be paid in DeCode common stock based on the average closing price over 30 days The acquisition enables DeCode to broaden and enhance its cancer program by applying the company's gene discovery and drug development capabilities to a larger set of population-based resources.

• DUSA Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Wilmington, Mass., entered an exclusive agreement to allow Coral Gables, Fla.-based Stiefel Laboratories Inc. to market, distribute and supply DUSA's Levulan Kerastick for photodynamic therapy in dermatology. The 10-year agreement will expand the distribution of Levulan into Mexico and Central and South America. Stiefel will make up to $3 million in milestone payments, and DUSA will manufacture the Kerastick at its Wilmington facility.

• Gammacan International, of Givat Shmuel, Israel, a developer of immunotherapies for cancer and other diseases, reported that the company has consummated two private placements aggregating $1.2 million. Those investments follow the recently reported initial investment of $500,000 by Sal Oppenheimer Jr. & Cie. Ltd. out of a potential $2.5 million aggregate investment.

• HemoBioTech Inc., of Dallas, signed a third-stage Sponsored Research Agreement with Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, of Lubbock, Texas. The SRA will focus on the manufacture of clinical grade HemoTech, a blood substitute that is capable of red blood cell production, the company said.

• Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Diego, and Organon USA, of Roseland, N.J., agreed to terminate their co-promotion agreement for pain drug Avinza, returning all rights to Ligand. The companies, however, agreed to continue to cooperate during a transition period ending Sept. 30, 2006, during which Ligand will pay Organon an amount equal to 23 percent of Avinza net sales. Ligand also will pay and be responsible for promotion costs. The companies resolved their disagreement concerning prior co-promote fees, and Ligand will pay Organon $14.75 million by the end of the month, plus $37.75 million on or before Oct. 15, and another $10 million on or before Jan. 15, 2007, provided that Organon meets its minimum required level of sales calls. In addition, Ligand will make royalty payments equal to 6.5 percent of net sales through Dec. 31, 2012, and then at 6 percent through patent expiration in November 2017.

• Micromet AG, of Munich, Germany, granted access to single-chain antibody (SCA) technology under its exclusive marketing agreement with Bridgewater, N.J.-based Enzon Pharmaceuticals Inc. to four companies: Abbott Park, Ill.-based Abbott Laboratories; Lund, Sweden-based Alligator Bioscience AB; Aberdeen, UK-based Haptogen Ltd.; and an undisclosed biopharmaceutical company. All received research licenses, and the undisclosed company received a product license for the development and commercialization of an SCA product to treat cancer. Financial terms were not disclosed.

• Novogen Ltd., of Stamford, Conn., said its U.S. subsidiary, Glycotex Inc., appointed Reinhard Koenig CEO and president. Koenig, who most recently served as vice president of clinical and product development at Questcor Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Union City, Calif., also will be a director at Glycotex. Following his appointment, Glycotex will be based in San Francisco.

• Oncolytics Biotech Inc., of Calgary, Alberta, said the Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program (CTEP), part of the National Cancer Institute, issued a solicitation for letters of intent to conduct two clinical trials using Reolysin, a formulation of the human reovirus in development as a potential cancer drug. CTEP is seeking proposals for a Phase II study of Reolysin, administered systemically, in patients with melanoma, and for a Phase I/II study of the drug, administered both systemically and intraperitoneally, in patients with ovarian cancer.

• Peregrine Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Tustin, Calif., said it expects to complete patient dosing in February for a trial of Tarvacin Anti-Viral in chronic hepatitis C virus infection, several months ahead of initial estimates. Top-line safety data will be presented at the Viral Hepatitis in Drug Discovery and Development Meeting in Boston on Feb. 27. Tarvacin also is in a Phase I trial for patients with advanced refractory solid tumors.

• Pharmaxis Ltd., of Sydney, Australia, signed a distribution agreement for its first product, Aridol, with Nigaard Pharma AS, of Oslo, Norway, throughout the Scandinavian countries. Aridol is an asthma management tool that helps doctors accurately determine the severity of a patient's disease. Pharmaxis filed for regulatory and marketing approval of Aridol with the Swedish Medical Products Agency in May 2005, and anticipates registration for Aridol in the first half of 2006.

• Somanta Inc., of Irvine, Calif., presented positive results in tests of cytotoxicity and inhibition of pan-cell cycle progression using Alchemix, the company's alkylating anthraquinone. Tests conducted to study the drug's effect on cell-cycle events demonstrated slow pan-cell cycle progression and mitotic commitment with a limited expression of G2 arrest, and the drug also showed in vitro activity against the NCI human cell line panel, including several prostate cancer cell lines. The data were presented at the 16th International Prostate Cancer Update Conference in Beaver Creek, Colo.

• Viragen Inc., of Plantation, Fla., said its scientists, plus collaborators at the Roslin Institute in Edinburgh, UK, and Oxford, UK-based Oxford Biomedica plc, achieved expression of significant quantities of the human protein, interferon beta-1a, in the whites of eggs laid by transgenic hens using the OVA System (Avian Transgenic Biomanufacturing). The results are the first in a series of anticipated milestones demonstrating proof-of-principle work with an avian-expressed version of interferon-beta. Viragen holds exclusive, worldwide rights to commercialize the OVA System from the Roslin Institute.

• Xencor Inc., of Monrovia, Calif., granted Eli Lilly and Co., of Indianapolis, a nonexclusive license to use Xencor's ImmunoFilter technology to evaluate the potential immunogenicity of its therapeutic proteins. ImmunoFilter is a new predictive tool designed to enable Xencor and its partners to identify risk of future immunogenicity in antibody and other protein therapeutic candidates.

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