• Aerogen Inc., of Mountain View, Calif., initiated a Phase II multicenter study of its aerosolized antibiotic for treatment of ventilator-associated pneumonia in the critical care setting. The study will involve 108 patients and evaluate the aerosolized delivery of amikacin, an aminoglycoside antibiotic, by means of Aerogen's aerosol delivery system. The company reported that a study using an earlier version of the delivery system indicated efficient delivery of amikacin to the lungs of ventilated patients. Results of the Phase II study are expected in the third quarter.

• Eyetech Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Pfizer Inc., both of New York, sponsored a study of Macugen (pegaptanib sodium injection) that indicated the ophthalmic drug as a treatment for neovascular (wet) age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The VEGF Inhibition Study in Ocular Neovascularization (VISION) showed that, among patients receiving 0.3-mg Macugen, 70 percent lost less than three lines of vision on the eye chart after 54 weeks, compared to 55 percent in the control group. Results of the study were published in the Dec. 30, 2004, issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. The FDA approved Macugen for the treatment of AMD Dec. 17, which triggered a $90 million license fee payment to Eyetech from Pfizer. (See BioWorld Today, Dec. 21, 2004).

• Genelabs Technologies Inc., of Redwood City, Calif., received $1.25 million from Santa Clara, Calif.-based Affymetrix Inc. for an amendment to a nonexclusive license to Genelabs' Linker-Aided DNA Amplification technology (LADA) approved in December 2002. The amendment converts the license to a fully paid nonexclusive license and eliminates royalties and fees that were payable under the original agreement. Genelab's LADA technology includes a method of amplifying nucleic acids by attaching DNA linkers of a known sequence to the ends of unknown DNA sequences, which are targeted for amplification.

• Noven Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Miami, said it earned $3 million for attaining a development milestone under its collaboration with P&G Pharmaceuticals Inc., a subsidiary of the Cincinnati-based Proctor & Gamble Co. The company expects to report the $3 million as license and contract revenues for the quarter ending Dec. 31. Noven, along with Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp., a subsidiary of Swiss-based Novartis AG, based in East Hanover, N.J., owns Novogyne Pharmaceuticals, which sells Noven's Vivelle-Dot estrogen patch.

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