• ARC Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Vancouver, British Columbia, presented data at the 21st annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Copenhagen, Denmark, showing that cisplatin-loaded films can reduce adhesion formations following pelvic or abdominal surgery in women. Those adhesions represent a significant cause of decreased reproductive potential.

• Callisto Pharmaceuticals Inc., of New York, said it received orphan drug designation in the U.S. for Annamycin to treat acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The second-generation anthracycline was developed at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Callisto plans to begin a clinical trial in adult relapsed acute lymphoblastic leukemia patients in the near future.

• Evotec AG, of Hamburg, Germany, is raising /28.4 million (US$34.3 million) through a capital increase of about 10.5 million shares issued at /2.72 per share. The company said it intends to use the funds to advance and expand its pipeline of drug candidates. The number of Evotec shares increased to 62.7 million.

• Genentech Inc., of South San Francisco, closed its acquisition of Biogen Idec Inc.'s NIMO Oceanside, Calif., biologics manufacturing facility. With positive Phase III results from several trials, Genentech expects there to be an increased demand for its products, and it needed a facility like Cambridge, Mass.-based Biogen Idec's manufacturing plant to meet that demand. Genentech purchased the facility for about $408 million in cash plus $9 million in closing costs. It also expects to pay Thousand Oaks, Calif.-based Amgen Inc. $30 million to cancel the remainder of its Enbrel manufacturing obligations, and it resolved an open issue with another manufacturing collaborator for an additional $11 million payment. (See BioWorld Today, June 20, 2005.)

• GenoMed Inc., of St. Louis, said after reporting successful treatment last week of its first West Nile Virus patient, the patient's treatment was stopped after her condition apparently worsened. The company said doctors do not know the cause for the patient's symptoms, which include decorticate posturing, or whether she actually had West Nile virus.

• H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute in Tampa, Fla., in a partnership with the University of South Florida, said it discovered that tricirbine, a previously discredited cancer drug, was found to work against tumors in which the cancer-causing Akt protein is abundant or abnormally active. Researchers said tricirbine could be potentially promising for patients with ovarian cancer, who often have high levels of Akt. VioQuest Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Monmouth Junction, N.J., is acquiring the licensing rights to tricirbine from USF through its merger with New York-based Greenwich Therapeutics Inc. (See BioWorld Today, May 9, 2005.)

• Hemosol Corp., of Toronto, said it regained compliance with the Nasdaq National Market's minimum bid price requirement by achieving a closing bid price of at least $1 per share for the 10 consecutive trading days ending Thursday.

• ImmunoGen Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., initiated patient dosing with its huC242-DM4 Tumor-Activated Prodrug compound, which is in development to treat colorectal, pancreatic and other cancers that express the CanAg antigen. It is the second TAP compound, after huN901-DM1, developed by ImmunoGen to enter clinical testing. In the Phase I dose-escalation study, HuC242-DM4 will be administered once every three weeks to patients with refractory CanAg-expressing cancers.

• Microbix Biosystems Inc., of Toronto, extended its agreement with an international vaccine producer to evaluate Microbix's technology designed to significantly boost the production yield of flu vaccine. The initial evaluation period was to expire at the end of this month, but the partner has been granted an additional 90 days to continue testing the technology. During this time, the companies will negotiate final terms of a definitive licensing agreement in which Microbix would receive milestone payments and royalties on worldwide sales of products using its technology.

• Neose Technologies Inc., of Horsham, Pa., submitted an investigational new drug application to the FDA for NE-180, the company's long-acting, GlycoPEGylated erythropoietin product to treat chemotherapy-induced anemia. The company hopes to start the Phase I trial in the third quarter.

• Peregrine Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Tustin, Calif., signed a definitive agreement to sell 8 million shares of common stock to one institutional investor for net proceeds of $6.72 million. The shares were sold pursuant to the company's shelf registration statement. The funding will be used to advance Peregrine's three clinical trials, as well as to support other preclinical studies that could expand Tarvacin into other indications.

• Savient Pharmaceuticals Inc., of East Brunswick, N.J., said it expects to close the sale of its global biologics manufacturing business to subsidiaries of Ferring Holding SA, of Lausanne, Switzerland, within 30 days. Savient expects to receive about $80 million in three installments, with $55 million at closing, $15 million at the first anniversary of closing and $10 million at the second anniversary. The company announced the sale in March to Ferring BV and Ferring International Centre SA. (See BioWorld Today, March 24, 2005.)

• Sucampo Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Bethesda, Md., said it is voluntarily suspending its development program for tacrolimus eye drops due to the FDA's safety concerns about Protopic, a cream for atopic dermatitis marketed by Astellas Pharma Inc., of Tokyo, that relies on tacrolimus as its active ingredient. Sucampo was developing tacrolimus eye drops for the treatment of dry-eye syndrome under a license from Japan-based Fujisawa Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd.

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