• 7TM Pharma, of Hørsholm, Denmark, started Phase I/II trials with TM30338, derived from the company's platform of Y receptor peptides, for the treatment of obesity. TM30338 is designed to target two appetite suppressive receptors, and the product has demonstrated superiority in fat-induced obese animals with respect to long-term reduction of food intake and weight, as compared to the natural hormone PYY3-36, which targets only one of the Y receptors.

• Active Biotech AB, of Stockholm, Sweden, said its recent offering of SEK169 million (US$21.4 million) was oversubscribed by 43 percent, increasing the number of shares in the company to a total of 39.4 million. The first day of trading in the new shares will occur on or around July 25. Active Biotech focuses on drugs to treat autoimmune/inflammatory diseases and cancer.

• Astex Technology Ltd., of Cambridge, UK, is changing its name to Astex Therapeutics Ltd. to reflect the advance of its lead product into Phase I trials.

• Axaron Bioscience AG, of Heidelberg, Germany, published positive results from its research in the effects of granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF). The company's research showed that G-CSF previously has unrecognized activities in the brain. It counteracts nerve cell death and stimulates the generation of nerve cells from adult stem cells already present in the brain.

• Bavarian Nordic A/S, of Copenhagen, Denmark, and Oxxon Therapeutics Ltd., of Boston, signed a cross-licensing agreement, which provides Oxxon certain rights to Bavarian Nordic's recombinant Modified Vaccinia Ankara (MVA) technology and Bavarian Nordic with access to Oxxon's PrimeBoost technology. Oxxon receives certain rights to develop and commercialize recombinant MVA-575, and further rights to use a nondisclosed, antigen-specific MVA product in a heterologous PrimeBoost regimen in exchange for royalties on commercial sales. Bavarian Nordic obtains the right to use Oxxon's homologous PrimeBoost regimens for MVA. Bavarian Nordic also gains an option to use MVA-BN in heterologous PrimeBoost regimens in exchange for royalties on commercial sales.

• BioSyntech Inc., of Laval, Quebec, signed a letter of intent for Nicholas Piramal India Ltd., of Mumbai, India, to subscribe to 7.5 million of its common shares at a price of C$0.80 (US$0.66) per share. NPIL's post-issue shareholding will be about 17 percent of BioSyntech's issued shares. BioSyntech discovers, develops and manufactures biologic implants for therapeutic delivery and regenerative medicine.

• BioXell SpA, of Milan, Italy, moved BXL628 into a Phase IIb trial in benign prostatic hyperplasia. The study, which will be coordinated by the urology division at the San Raffaele Hospital in Milan, will enroll up to 500 patients across 60 centers in Italy. The primary endpoint of the study will be to confirm the efficacy of BXL628 monotherapy in reducing prostate volume after 24 weeks of therapy. The study also will assess its effects on reducing severity of symptoms and improving urinary flow rate, sexual function and quality of life. The study also will assess the efficacy of a combination therapy comprising BXL628 and tamsulosin.

• Bone Medical Ltd., of Bentley, Western Australia, reported data demonstrating that its drug candidate, BN006, was effective in inhibiting expression of tumor necrosis factor, and caused dose-dependent inhibition of up to 100 percent. The company's next step is to complete studies in an animal model of rheumatoid arthritis and then move into human testing. In other news, Bone Medical completed its Phase I trial of Perthoxal, an oral parathyroid hormone product in development to treat osteoporosis. Results from the trial involving 18 post-menopausal women are expected in October.

• Cambridge Antibody Technology Group plc, of Cambridge, UK, had news concerning two antibodies under collaboration with Human Genome Sciences Inc., of Rockville, Md. HGS said that GlaxoSmithKline plc, of London, exercised its option to co-develop and commercialize LymphoStat-B (belimumab) and released positive results from a Phase II trial of HGS-ETR1 (mapatumab) in the treatment of advanced non-small-cell lung cancer. The agreement with GSK follows positive results in a Phase II trial of Lymphostat-B in rheumatoid arthritis.

• Cytomics Systems, of Paris, identified a new generation of proteasome inhibitors that prevent the in vitro proliferation of cancer cells. The molecules act on the non-catalytic activities of the proteasome. Cytomics, which is specialized in the discovery of small molecules that control the degradation of proteins, identified the compounds using its high-throughput, cell-based screening technology UbiScreen. The company plans to continue optimizing the molecules with plans to carry out in vivo experiments in early 2006 on nude mice xenografted with human cancer cells.

• Euroscreen SA, of Brussels, Belgium, and ChemDiv Inc., of San Diego, are partnering to discover and develop drug candidates against a panel of chemokine receptors, a subset of G protein-coupled receptor targets involved in inflammation, immunomodulation and carcinogenesis. ChemDiv will contribute its expertise in synthetic and medicinal chemistry, while Euroscreen will develop respective GPCR assays and ensure the screening and general molecular biology support of the joint venture. Financial terms were not disclosed.

• EvoGenix Ltd., of Sydney, Australia, opened its initial public offer to raise A$9 million (US$6.7 million) through the issue of 36 million shares at A25 cents in preparation for a mid-August listing on the Australian Stock Exchange. EvoGenix will have a post-listing market capitalization of $32.2 million and expects early stage revenues from licensing its technologies to biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. The IPO is fully underwritten by Lodge Corporate Services. EvoGenix is focused on the identification and development of antibody-based drugs.

• Galapagos NV, of Mechelen, Belgium, entered a research collaboration under which its genomics partnering division, Galadeno, will design a research program for Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK Ltd., a division of Novartis AG, of Basel, Switzerland, using the SilenceSelect platform for functional assays in human primary cell assays. The technology is based on Galadeno's collection of adenoviruses with human gene sequences that specifically knock down more than 4,000 different human proteins by producing siRNA in a human cell. Galadeno will receive payments related to research services and its technology.

• GPC Biotech AG, of Munich, Germany, said a Phase I study evaluating its lead drug candidate, satraplatin, in combination with Taxotere (docetaxel) in patients with advanced solid tumors has opened for accrual. Satraplatin is in a Phase III registration trial as a second-line chemotherapy treatment for patients with hormone-refractory prostate cancer.

• JPT Peptide Technologies GmbH (JPT), of Berlin, began a collaboration with Oregon Health and Science University for discovery of T-cell epitopes aimed at accelerating the development of vaccines against tuberculosis. The partners will use the university's expertise in isolating and cloning CD8+ cells from latent TB patients and JPT's technology for producing large numbers of peptides. Investigators from the university are working to determine the relevant antigens within infected cells, which subsequently will be used to identify characteristic parts of those proteins (epitopes) that are required by the CD8+ cells to activate the immune response TB bacteria. Financial details of the collaboration were not disclosed.

• Meditech Research Ltd., of Melbourne, Australia, signed a research and development collaboration agreement with Hyalose LLC, of Oklahoma City. Meditech and Hyalose will evaluate hyaluronic acid molecules of different sizes for their ability to act as targeting agents for drug delivery systems.

• Mesoblast Ltd., of Melbourne, Australia, appointed the Bank of New York to establish and maintain a Level 1 American depository receipt program. Mesoblast is focused on treatments for orthopedic conditions, including the commercialization of an adult stem cell technology aimed at the regeneration and repair of bone and cartilage.

• Millipore Corp., of Billerica, Mass., entered an agreement to acquire NovAseptic AB, of Gothenburg, Sweden, which provides solutions for aseptic processing applications for biotech and pharmaceutical manufacturing, for about SEK720 million (US$91 million). Terms call for Millipore to purchase more than 90 percent of NovAseptic from founders and other majority owners. The transaction is expected to close within the next 45 days.

• Neuren Pharmaceuticals Ltd., of Auckland, New Zealand, expanded its agreement with the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Washington to develop the company's second compound, a neuroprotectant designated NNZ-2566, as a therapy for traumatic brain injury. Under the existing agreement, Walter Reed funds half of the preclinical research, which has shown that the benefit of NNZ-2566, administered following injury, increased the reduction in neurological deficit by up to 70 percent. Neuren retains all future commercial rights outside of the U.S. military.

• NicOx SA, of Sophia-Antipolis, France, appointed Maarten Beekman vice president of clinical development and Stefano Biondi director of the research laboratories, as well as promoting Ennio Ongini to vice president of research (while remaining head of the NicOx research center in Bresso, Italy). Also, the company obtained positive results from a pilot Phase II study for HCT 1026 in osteopenia, which showed a significant reduction in bone resorption markers following treatment. The trial reached its primary endpoint, with 24 percent of patients achieving a response. HCT 1026 is a nitric oxide-donating derivative of flurbiprofen.

• Pepscan Systems BV, of Lelystad, the Netherlands, raised €5 million (US$6 million) in a first financing round by issuance of convertible notes to a group of investors from the Netherlands. The investment was led by PPM Oost NV. Other investors participating in the round were Lupus Ventures BV, Wageningen Business Generator BV and Technofund Flevoland BV, as well as several private investors and existing shareholders.

• PRB Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Irvine, Calif., and Lee's Pharmaceuticals Holdings Ltd., of Hong Kong, reported that Vietnam's Department of Animal Health will begin testing an animal version of VIRA 38 on their poultry flocks as part of a multinational avian influenza research collaboration. VIRA 38 is an over-the-counter broad-spectrum antiviral medication known for its effectiveness in treating and preventing influenza by inhibiting a variety of pathogens.

• Scil Technology GmbH, of Martinsried, Germany, reported positive results from a proof-of-concept study for its lead orthopedic product, ST01. The product is a bone graft substitute, and the company said that its study had shown superior effectiveness compared with autologous bone in in vivo preclinical results involving posterolateral interbody spinal fusion. ST01 is ceramic based, fully synthetic osteoninductive and biodegradable. Scil focuses on dental and orthopedic tissue regeneration, particularly bone and cartilage repair.

• Transgene SA, of Strasbourg, France, said its offering of shares and warrants raised a total of €34.9 million (US$42.1 million). The company sold about 4.7 million units at €7.50 each. Net proceeds of €32.6 million will be used to fund Phase II trials of the company's therapeutic vaccines to treat cancer and infectious diseases.

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