• Aastrom Biosciences Inc., of Ann Arbor, Mich., concluded the sale of common stock with Fusion Capital Fund II LLC on Monday, pursuant to the stock purchase agreement dated Oct. 30, 2002. In the final tranche, Fusion bought 4.8 million shares of Aastrom's stock for gross proceeds of $12 million, at an average price of $2.50 per share, a premium to the closing price of $2.38 a share. That completes the $24 million stock purchase agreement between Aastrom and Fusion. Aastrom is developing treatments for the repair of damaged human tissues and other medical disorders, or the generation of normal human tissue.

• Abgenix Inc., of Fremont, Calif., will receive a milestone payment from Thousand Oaks, Calif.-based Amgen Inc., which advanced into clinical trials an undisclosed antibody created using Abgenix's XenoMouse technology. Under a 1999 collaboration, Abgenix granted Amgen a license to the antibody-generation technology. Amgen is responsible for product development and commercialization, while Abgenix receives milestone and royalty payments. Abgenix said this is the 11th product generated with its technology to move into the clinic.

• Advanced Magnetics Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., initiated a multicenter Phase III safety study for ferumoxytol, the company's next-generation product for use as an IV iron-replacement therapeutic in anemic chronic kidney disease. The trial is a double-blind, crossover study that will compare ferumoxytol to placebo in patients, whether they are on or off dialysis. Advanced Magnetics said it expects to file a new drug application during the first half of 2006.

• Agilent Technologies Inc., of Palo Alto, Calif., introduced the industry's first shared microarray design program, which allows scientists to share their custom microarray designs with designated groups while maintaining control of their intellectual property. Scientists also can share the designs with the scientific community at large. The first two organisms to be made available through the program are Caenorhabditis elegans and Magnaporthe grisea.

• Alpharma Inc., of Fort Lee, N.J., said its sales force will co-promote Pexeva, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor to treat depression, launched by Synthon Pharmaceuticals Ltd., of Chapel Hill, N.C., in February. Alpharma said it will promote Pexeva along with its own complementary product, Kadian, a sustained-release morphine product. Alpharma does not expect the agreement to have an impact on its 2005 financial results.

• Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Diego, said it plans to publicly offer 6 million shares of its common stock pursuant to an effective registration statement. Arena plans to grant to the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 900,000 shares of common stock to cover overallotments, if any. All shares are being sold by Arena.

• BioLineRx Ltd., of Jerusalem, signed in-license agreements to develop and commercialize three therapeutic candidates. The company signed exclusive agreements with Rimonyx Pharmaceuticals Ltd., of Nes Ziona, Israel, for developing BL-1030, a small molecule for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease; with Yissum, a technology transfer company of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, for BL-1050, an HIV therapeutic; and with Ramot at Tel Aviv University Ltd., the technology transfer company of Tel Aviv University, and Bar Ilan & Development Company Ltd., the technology transfer officer of Bar Ilan University, for development of BL-2010 for resistant cancer.

• Bolder BioTechnology Inc., of Wheat Ridge, Colo., was awarded a $500,000 Phase I Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. The two-year grant will be used to optimize the manufacturing process and perform preclinical toxicology and pharmacology studies of the company's erythropoiesis-stimulating protein. The protein is being developed as a treatment for anemia associated with chronic kidney disease and chemotherapy.

• ConjuChem Inc., of Montreal, said Phase II data of DAC:GLP-1 to treat Type II diabetes in combination with Metformin showed the product significantly reduced blood glucose levels in patients who were on oral diabetic medications. The company also announced positive results of a Phase I program evaluating new diluents for DAC:GLP-1, which showed an improvement in tolerability.

• DeCode Genetics Inc., of Reykjavik, Iceland, submitted an investigational new drug application to the FDA for DG041, a first-in-class, orally administered small molecule for the treatment of peripheral arterial occlusive disease. In preclinical studies, DG041 has been shown to be an antagonist of the EP3 receptor for prostaglandin E2, inhibiting, in a dose-dependent manner, human platelet aggregation induced in vitro by PGE2.

• Genetronics Biomedical Corp., of San Diego, and the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center in Miami initiated a Phase I trial using Genetronics' MedPulser System to deliver plasmid DNA to tumors with the aim of treating melanoma. The trial will measure the safety of the eletroporation system to deliver plasmid DNA into tumor cells to mount an immune response.

• ID Biomedical Corp., of Vancouver, British Columbia, completed analysis of the vaccine immunogenicity and safety data from its field efficacy trial of FluINsure. Both one- and two-dose regimens were efficacious in preventing influenza-like illness in association with a positive influenza virus culture. None of the patients receiving FluINsure experienced febrile illness associated with culture-confirmed influenza.

• Medarex Inc., of Princeton, N.J., and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., of New York, said that the global development and commercialization agreement, previously reported on Nov. 8, has become effective. BMS and Medarex plan to jointly develop MDX-010, a fully human antibody investigational product targeting the CTLA-4 receptor, which is in Phase III development for metastatic melanoma. Medarex could receive up to $530 million in the deal. (See BioWorld Today, Nov. 9, 2004.)

• Memory Pharmaceuticals Corp., of Montvale, N.J., began a safety and tolerability study of MEM 1003 in Alzheimer's disease patients. It is being conducted under an investigational new drug application Memory filed with the FDA in mid-November. MEM 1003 is a neuronal L-type calcium channel modulator.

• Momenta Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., said goals for its glycoprotein program in 2005 are to characterize sugars on multiple glycoprotein drugs and establish a glycoprotein partnership. Momenta develops drugs based on its sugar sequencing technology, which it applies to therapeutic protein drugs containing sugar.

• Nanobac Life Sciences Inc., of Tampa, Fla., said researchers have shown that atherosclerosis might be the life-long result of a body's healing mechanisms and inflammatory responses to infection. The company believes that nanobacteria might play a key role in the development of atherosclerosis. Nanobac is in the process of talking with potential partners to further research the relationship between nanobacterial infection and heart disease, as well as to expand the research to include other diseases involving pathological calcification.

• Palatin Technologies Inc., of Cranbury, N.J., completed enrollment in separate Phase IIa trials evaluating PT-141 in patients experiencing female sexual dysfunction (FSD) and male erectile dysfunction. The FSD trial was designed to evaluate safety and efficacy in premenopausal women. The ED trial was designed to evaluate safety and efficacy of PT-141 co-administered with sildenafil in men. The company is analyzing data for both in-clinic trials and plans to release results later this quarter. (See BioWorld Today, Dec. 3, 2002.)

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