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 in respect of long-term reduction of food intake and weight, as compared to the natural hormone PYY3-36, which targets only one of the Y receptors.
ActiveSight, of San Diego, reported an expansion of its line of protein crystals for drug discovery. The two proteins added today are phosphodiesterase IV and peroxisome proliferators-activated receptor delta. Both are active targets of structure-based drug design. PDE-4 is the predominant phosphodiesterase isoenzyme in respiratory tissues and is a target for therapy of inflammatory airways diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The protein is a target of active research for a number of indications, the company said.
Adenosine Therapeutics LLC, of Charlottesville, Va., was awarded a fast-track Phase I/II Small Business Innovation Research grant from the Department of Health and Human Services at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. The $2 million grant will fund the clinical development of ATL-146e to prevent cardiac reperfusion injury. It will support the completion of the Phase I and Phase II trials.
Ambion Inc., of Austin, Texas, reported that two scientific papers describing a detailed analysis of the role of human kinases in endocytosis that was performed using its siRNA library were published in Nature. The papers, authored by a group at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden, Germany, identified human kinases involved in the cellular process of endocytosis.
Anadys Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Diego, said the waiting period has expired for its exclusive global license and co-development agreement with Novartis AG, of Basel, Switzerland. Anadys will receive the initial $20 million license payment as a result. The companies entered the potential $570 million collaboration in early June to develop and commercialize ANA975 for chronic hepatitis C virus and hepatitis B virus infections. (See BioWorld Today, June 3, 2005.)
BioTime Inc., of Emeryville, Calif., received notice from the American Stock Exchange indicating that the company did not meet continued listing standards, and its shares and warrants will be delisted. BioTime appealed the decision, but it was upheld. The company's shares and warrants will not be listed or traded on AMEX after July 14, but will be eligible for quotation on the Over-the-Counter Bulletin Board.
Ceragenix Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Denver, said two of its lead Cationic Steroid Antibiotic compounds have been accepted by the National Cancer Institute's Developmental Therapeutics Program to evaluate their potential activity in inhibiting the growth of tumor blood supply. The initial evaluation will be in three in vitro models: the growth inhibition assay, the cord formation assay and the cell migration assay.
CV Therapeutics Inc., of Palo Alto, Calif., said underwriters of its recent public offering have exercised their overallotment option to purchase an additional about 1.1 million shares of common stock at $21.60 each. This brings the total shares offered to about 8.4 million, and the total amount raised in gross proceeds to about $180.4 million. The company intends to use proceeds to fund research, development and product manufacturing, including preclinical and clinical trials, the filing of new drug applications, and other expenses. (See BioWorld Today, June 30, 2005.)
Elixir Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., said its researchers authored a report that describes the links between the pathways of aging and those of metabolic disorders, such as Type II diabetes and obesity. Those links could be used to develop classes of drugs to treat metabolic disorders, while also slowing the aging process. This report was published in a recent issue of Nature Reviews Drug Discovery.
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.
Helix BioMedix Inc., of Bothell, Wash., said research published in the July 2005 issue of Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, titled "Antimicrobial Peptide Therapeutics for Cystic Fibrosis," has shown that small bioactive peptides have the potential to attack two of the components responsible for the progression of lung damage from CF - infection and inflammation. The study screened 150 peptides for activity against CF pathogens, such as P. aeruginosa, Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, Achromobacter xylosoxidans, and Staphylococcus aureus in the presence of factors that mimic the physiological environment of CF lungs.
Inimex Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Vancouver, British Columbia, was named a strategic partner in a consortium of researchers receiving a grant offer from the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) of $8.7 million to Brett Finlay of the University of British Columbia. This grant offer is part of the $450 million Grand Challenges in Global Health initiative supported by the FNIH and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Finlay, a co-founder of Inimex and member of the company's scientific advisory board, will focus on developing new medicines that activate innate defenses against bacterial and parasitic infections that affect people in developing countries.
Interleukin Genetics Inc., of Waltham, Mass., said it was informed that it has been found to satisfy the requirements for continued listing of its stock on the Over-the-Counter Bulletin Board. The company's stock symbol has been returned to "ILGN."
IntraBiotics Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Lafayette, Calif., received a letter from the staff of the Nasdaq Stock Market advising it that the company may be deemed to be a "public shell," which raises public interest concerns as set forth in the Nasdaq's rules. In the letter, Nasdaq requested that the company provide certain information to the staff, including a description of its current operations and its plan for future operations and compliance with continued listing requirements not later than July 15.
Kos Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Cranbury, N.J., reported the commencement of a study to evaluate whether combination therapy with Kos' Niaspan (niacin extended-release tablets) and simvastatin is superior to simvastatin alone in preventing cardiovascular events, such as heart attack, stroke and acute coronary syndromes. The study will include at least 30 percent women.
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.
Meridian Bioscience Inc., of Cincinnati, said its wholly owned subsidiary, Viral Antigens Inc., of Memphis, Tenn., was awarded the exclusive global license for recombinant parvovirus B19 vaccine technology from the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. The license provides Viral Antigens with the rights to use the technology to develop, manufacture and market the vaccine.
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 SEK 720 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.
Nymox Pharmaceutical Corp., of Maywood, N.J., said its lead drug candidate, NX-1207, shows potential as a first-line treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia. In two completed trials to data, the drug has demonstrated significant efficacy without significant side effects. The company's Phase II trial is expected to conclude later this year.
OSI Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Melville, N.Y., reported that its diabetes and obesity business unit, (OSI) Prosidion, has granted a worldwide nonexclusive license under its DPIV patent portfolio to a major Japanese pharmaceutical company. The estate covers the use of DPIV inhibitors for the treatment of Type II diabetes and related indications. OSI will receive up-front, milestone and royalty payments. Additional financial terms were not disclosed.
ParAllele BioScience Inc., of South San Francisco, and Merck & Co. Inc., of Whitehouse Station, N.J., entered an agreement to discover genetic variations that might impact an individual's susceptibility, prognosis or response to therapy in cancer. ParAllele will use its single nucleotide polymorphism genotyping technology to characterize the genetic changes in tumor samples identified by Merck. Further terms were not disclosed.
PTC Therapeutics Inc., of South Plainfield, N.J., said PTC124 has been granted orphan drug status in Europe to treat Duchenne's muscular dystrophy and cystic fibrosis. The oral drug targets nonsense mutations and has potential to treat a number of genetic disorders. PTC124 also has fast-track and orphan drug designations in the U.S. for those indications.
Sirna Therapeutics Inc., of Boulder, Colo., said it consummated the initial closing of its $28 million private placement, issuing 8.3 million shares and warrants to purchase about 3 million shares. A second closing is scheduled after stockholder approval. The total number of shares issuable in the two closings is 17.5 million shares of common stock and 6.3 million warrant shares of common stock. (See BioWorld Today, July 7, 2005.)
Therion Biologics Corp., of Cambridge, Mass., completed enrollment in its Phase II trial for Prostvac-VF in patients with androgen-independent prostate cancer. Prostvac-VF is designed to stimulate a patient's own immune system to seek out and destroy malignant cells expressing prostate specific antigen (PSA.) Therion expects to complete the Phase II trial in the first quarter of 2006 and begin a Phase III study in the middle of the year.