Amarillo Biosciences Inc., of Amarillo, Texas, said a study to test low-dose oral interferon alpha in 40 patients with rare bone marrow proliferative disorders is now open to enrollment. Amarillo will provide product for the study, which will enroll 20 patients, each with either polycythemia vera or primary thrombocythemia. They will be given low-dose oral interferon alpha daily as a treatment to relieve the signs and symptoms associated with the disorders.

• Biomira Inc., of Edmonton, Alberta, is delaying the start of its planned Phase III study of BLP25 liposome vaccine (L-BLP25) for non-small-cell lung cancer into next year. It was expected to begin at the end of this year, but an accelerated stability issue discovered during the manufacturing process has arisen. The company said it may have been due to excess moisture in the product. The change will allow Biomira and partner Merck KGaA, of Darmstadt, Germany, to address the problem. The companies, which are working with the contract manufacturer, also announced the simultaneous publication in this month's issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology of previously reported Phase IIb data indicating a 4.4-month longer median survival for patients randomized to the L-BLP25 arm (88 patients) compared to the best supportive care arm (83 patients).

• Biophage Pharma Inc., of Montreal, and Integrated Environmental Technologies Ltd., of Little River, S.C., formed an agreement that enables both companies to market an end-to-end pathogen-detection and control system. The combined marketing efforts will promote IET's EcaFlor equipment and Biophage's PDS Biosensor.

• Flamel Technologies SA, of Lyon, France, reported positive preliminary Phase I/II data demonstrating the safety, tolerability and long-acting activity of IFN-alpha-XL in patients with chronic hepatitis C virus infection. Findings also showed that the product had positive effects on viral load and interferon activity biomarkers. IFN-alpha-XL uses the company's Medusa nanoparticle technology to provide a long-acting formulation of interferon alpha that may have enhanced efficacy and reduced toxicity compared with unmodified or PEG-modified interferon formulations. Flamel plans to present the full data at a future medical conference.

• Gene Logic Inc., of Gaithersburg, Md., said the value of the goodwill asset that resulted from its April 2003 acquisition of TherImmune Research Corp. is impaired. The Company expects to finalize and announce the amount of such impairment by Nov. 9. Prior to this impairment, the goodwill asset for the now renamed Gene Logic Laboratories Inc., its nonclinical services subsidiary, was valued at $43 million. It is not expected that this potentially substantial impairment charge will result in any future cash expenditures. Gene Logic has reduced its revenue growth and financial performance assumptions for that business and is reviewing the impact of those decreased expectations on its full-year financial outlook, though the company declined to update its financial guidance. On Friday, its stock (NASDAQ:GLGC) fell $1.04, or 18 percent, to close at $4.62.

• GTx Inc., of Memphis, Tenn., said it is delaying its proposed public offering of 5 million shares due to market conditions. GTx is focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of therapeutics for cancer and serious conditions related to men's health.

• Imcor Pharmaceutical Co., of San Diego, Alliance Pharmaceutical Corp., also of San Diego, and its wholly owned subsidiary, Molecular Biosystems Inc., concluded an agreement with GE Healthcare Ltd., of Chalfont St. Giles, UK, to resolve claims in a patent dispute. Imcor gets $1M, Alliance gets $200,000 and all parties granted each other a nonexclusive, royalty-free cross-license with the right to sublicense their respective ultrasound contrast agents.

• Life Therapeutics, of Atlanta, reported the signing of a binding agreement to acquire privately held Pyramid Biological Corp., of Los Angeles, for $13 million plus assumption of $7 million in debt. An additional $5 million is subject to achievement of milestones. Terms of the acquisition originally were agreed to in July. Life Therapeutics has four divisions: Life Sera, Life Gels, Life Diagnostics and Life Manufacturing.

• Marc Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Stamford, Conn., said university scientists recently completed a 17-day study on laboratory animals showing that one of the company's water-soluble drug candidates (a betulinol derivative) slowed prostate tumor growth in mice. Betulinol is a naturally occurring compound that is isolated from the outer layer of the bark of the white birch tree.

• Mesoblast Ltd., of Melbourne, Australian, reported approval to commence the first human orthopedic trial of its adult stem cell technology. Approval from The Royal Melbourne Hospital's Human Research Ethics Committee is for a pilot trial in up to 10 patients suffering from non-union of long bone fractures, which affects up to 2 million people each year in developed countries. The trial will be an independent assessment of the safety of the technology.

• Microbix Biosystems Inc., of Toronto, said that it will be collaborating with a third party to test the company's yield-enhancement technology in the production of influenza vaccine, including avian influenza. The company said the patent-protection strategy is moving through the process on schedule in several countries including the U.S. Patent Office.

• Nektar Therapeutics, of San Carlos, Calif., agreed to sell $275 million of 3.25 percent convertible subordinated notes due 2012 to qualified institutional buyers. The company also granted the buyers an option to purchase up to an additional $40 million of notes to cover overallotments. The debt will be convertible into common stock at an initial conversion rate of 46.4727 shares per $1,000 of notes (subject to adjustment in certain circumstances), which is equivalent to an initial conversion price of about $21.52 per share. They will be subordinated to all present and future senior debt of Nektar, which also repurchased about $71 million of other outstanding obligations in the process. The offering is expected to close Sept. 28, subject to customary conditions.

• Novavax Inc., of Malvern, Pa., completed the sale of certain products deemed non-core to Pharmelle LLC , of Gilbert, Ariz. The total proceeds from the sale of AVC Cream, NovoNatal and NovaStart, including existing inventory, was $2.5 million. In addition, the company may receive future royalties if product sales exceed certain pre-determined levels.

• Protherics plc, of London, said it received preliminary approval from the Nasdaq Stock Market to establish a Level II American Depository Receipt program in the U.S. The Bank of New York has been appointed as the depositary bank to administer the ADR program. Trading is expected to begin Tuesday under the ticker symbol "PTIL." The ADRs will trade on the basis of 10 Protherics ordinary shares for every one ADR. Protherics focuses on critical care and oncology.

• Serologicals Corp., of Atlanta, said its wholly owned subsidiary, Chemicon International Inc., of Temecula, Calif., launched a new Amplifluor ID pan-enterovirus detection reagent. The product rapidly detects pan-enterovirus, and is the first of many infectious disease detection products offered using Chemicon's fluorescent detection technology.

• Tercica Inc., of South San Francisco, presented three scientific posters at the ESPE/LWPES 7 joint meeting of pediatric endocrinology in Lyon, France. Presentations included the first available data from six children who received Increlex (mecasermin [rDNA origin] injection) treatment for severe primary insulin-like growth factor-1 deficiency. Results also were presented from a pharmacokinetic study comparing once-daily dosing vs. twice-daily dosing of Increlex in children with primary IGFD as well as results of a comparative study of four IGF-1 assay systems for the biochemical detection or diagnosis of IGF-1 deficiency.

• Viragen Inc., of Plantation, Fla., received a deficiency letter from the American Stock Exchange Tuesday advising that the company is not in compliance with Amex's requirements since it has stockholders' equity of less than $4 million and losses from continuing operations and/or net losses in three out of four most recent fiscal years. It also is not in compliance with the five-year performance criteria.

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