• American Oriental Bioengineering Inc., of Hong Kong, completed its acquisition of the Chinese pharmaceutical company Heilongjiang Songhuajiang Pharmaceutical Ltd. (HSPL). American Oriental entered the agreement in May to purchase HSPL for $7.2 million in cash. It expects the acquisition to add about $10 million to $12 million in revenue in 2005, as well as about $12 million in net assets. American Oriental produces soybean protein peptides for medicinal products and other uses.

• Aphoenix Inc., of Tokyo, and Anadys Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Diego, entered a three-year drug discovery collaboration. Anadys will apply its drug discovery capabilities to discover and advance lead compounds against Aphoenix targets in multiple therapeutic indications. Aphoenix has early stage programs in respiratory and anti-inflammatory diseases. The agreement includes up-front and future research funding, plus potential milestone payments to Anadys, which also will share in potential downstream value through royalty payments.

• Atugen AG, of Berlin, signed a collaboration agreement with Sanofi-Aventis, of Paris, to identify short-interfering RNA (siRNA) compounds with potential for therapeutic development. The companies said they plan to combine Atugen's siRNA technology and expertise in gene silencing with Sanofi-Aventis' pharmacology expertise. Atugen will use its stabilized siRNA compounds and delivery vehicles. Financial details were not disclosed.

• Australian Cancer Technology Ltd., of Sydney, Australia, acquired North American rights to a developmental pancreatic cancer drug from RESprotect GmbH, of Dresden, Germany. The drug, RP101, has demonstrated positive results in a Phase I/II pilot study, and a repeat Phase I/II dose-finding study is expected to begin in six to eight weeks and last six months. It will be funded by AustCancer, which plans to begin a pivotal Phase IIb/III trial in the U.S. next year. RP101 is targeted at preventing cells from developing resistance to chemotherapy. Specific financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed, though AustCancer acquired 10 percent of RESprotect's stock in the transaction.

• BioImage A/S, of Copenhagen, Denmark, signed an agreement with Merck & Co Inc., of Whitehouse Station, N.J., granting Merck a license to use its Redistribution technology in its drug discovery research. The Redistribution patent portfolio covers methods aimed at studying intracellular signaling events. Financial terms were not disclosed.

• Brain Biotechnology AG, of Zwingenberg, Germany, reached an agreement with Palo Alto, Calif.-based Genencor International Inc.'s European research facility in Leiden, the Netherlands. Brain Biotechnology will provide metagenomic libraries and microbial resources to supplement new protein backbones, and the partners will work to develop an enzyme platform. Financial details were not disclosed.

• Cambridge Antibody Technology Group plc, of Cambridge, UK, said it will start a Phase I trial of CAT-354, a human anti-IL-13 monoclonal antibody, for severe asthma, following recent approval from the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency. The trial will take place in the UK at the Matrix Drug Development Clinical Research Centre. Patient enrollment is expected to begin shortly, with results available during the second quarter.

• Compugen Ltd., of Tel Aviv, and Diagnostic Products Corp., of Los Angeles, entered a collaboration for the development and commercialization of diagnostic products, with an anticipated focus in the cancer and cardiovascular fields. Terms of the agreement allow Diagnostic Products to develop and commercialize immunoassay and nucleic acid-based diagnostic products based on Compugen-discovered biomarkers, including certain biomarker candidates already discovered by Compugen, as well as additional candidates arising from the collaboration.

• Crucell NV, of Leiden, the Netherlands, and contract manufacturer DSM Biologics, of Sittard, the Netherlands, signed a PER.C6 deal with MorphoSys AG, of Munich, Germany. MorphoSys gains rights to use the technology in its antibody research programs, and an option to license it for antibody production. Crucell and DSM will get an up-front payment and annual maintenance fees. Also Crucell and Vaxin Inc., of Birmingham, Ala., entered a nonexclusive license agreement allowing Vaxin to use the PER.C6 cell line for the development, manufacture and commercialization of its recombinant adenoviral vaccines against certain respiratory viruses. Crucell will receive an up-front payment, annual maintenance fees and royalties on future sales. Further financial details were not disclosed.

• Cyclacel Group plc, of Dundee, Scotland, began patient enrollment in a third Phase I trial of CYC682, a cancer drug acting on the cell cycle. CYC682, an orally available small-molecule nucleoside analogue drug, is Cyclacel's second candidate to enter clinical trials. The new trial is an open-label Phase Ib study testing CYC682 in patients with solid tumors or lymphoma. In addition to determining its safety profile, the trial will test the pharmacokinetics of CYC682 and its metabolite and investigate the use of biomarkers to predict tumor sensitivity.

• DeCode Genetics Inc., of Reykjavik, Iceland, appointed Deloitte & Touche LLP as its new independent registered public accounting firm. The move follows the resignation of its prior auditor. DeCode uses population genetics to combat disease.

• Euroscreen SA, of Brussels, Belgium, entered an agreement with Cisbio International, of Orlando, Fla, in which it will use Cisbio's HTRF cAMP assay for the validation of Euroscreen's recombinant cell lines and membranes expressing Gi and Gs-coupled receptors.

• Evotec OAI AG, of Hamburg, Germany, and Evotec Neurosciences GmbH formed a three-year research collaboration with Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH, of Ingelheim, Germany, to identify and develop small-molecule therapeutics acting on selected G protein-coupled receptors. The companies initially will focus on central nervous system diseases. Boehringer will have global rights to the development, manufacturing and commercialization of the compounds identified and will make research payments, additional discovery and development payments, and royalty payments to Evotec. Separately, Evotec Technologies GmbH, of Hamburg, Germany, and Qiagen NV, of Venlo, the Netherlands, signed an agreement to promote the benefits of combining Qiagen's TOM-amidites chemistry-based RNAi products with Evotec's Opera platform. Financial terms were not disclosed.

• Genable Technologies Ltd., of Dublin, Ireland, raised €1.1 million (US$1.3 million) in first-round funding from Delta Partners, also of Dublin. The company, a spin-out from Trinity College Dublin, is developing gene-based therapies for dominant-negative genetic diseases. Its lead program concerns retinitis pigmentosa.

The German National Ethics Council voted to retain the country's prohibition on cloning for research purposes. Minister of Education and Research Edelgard Bulmahn said that scientific progress continues to require careful attention to the legal definitions of certain concepts, such as embryos.

• Global Genomics AB, of Stockholm, Sweden, said findings published in Nucleic Acids Research detail the company's tangerine gene-expression profiling method. Specifically, the paper describes the features of tangerine gene-expression profiling and analyzes performance across multiple experiments.

• Helsinn Healthcare SA, of Lugano, Switzerland, agreed to grant exclusive license and distribution rights for Palonosetron in the UK to Cambridge Laboratories Ltd., of Dublin, Ireland. The product, which is under registration in Europe, is a serotonin receptor antagonist used for the prevention of nausea and vomiting induced by chemotherapy in the U.S. It is marketed there as Aloxi by MGI Pharma Inc., of Minneapolis. Financial terms were not disclosed.

• ID Biomedical Corp., of Vancouver, British Columbia, completed its acquisition of the vaccines business of Shire Pharmaceuticals Group plc, of Basingstoke, UK. The deal, worth $120 million, was reported in the spring. Also, Shire acquired about 4.9 million subscription receipts of ID Biomedical. Each subscription receipt entitles Shire to acquire, during the period between Jan. 10, 2005, and July 9, 2006, one fully paid and non-assessable common share without par value of ID Biomedical. Assuming the exercise of all subscription receipts, the total number of common shares issuable represents about 10.5 percent of ID Biomedical.

• Jerini AG, of Berlin, began its U.S. and Canadian pivotal registration study with Icatibant in a subcutaneous formulation for hereditary angioedema. The final protocol for a European multicenter pivotal registration study will be submitted this month. Icatibant has orphan drug status in the U.S. and Europe for hereditary angioedema, and fast-track designation from the FDA in the indication. Icatibant is a peptidomimetic bradykinin B2 receptor antagonist.

• Lyfjathroun hf Biopharmaceuticals, of Reykjavik, Iceland, said Phase I results showed its sumatriptan nasal spray to be safe and well tolerated as an acute migraine treatment. Blood levels of the intranasal test products reached peak concentrations in about 10 minutes, similar to the timeline of injectable Imigran/Imitrex. Also, the investigational product delivered 6 mg of sumatriptan in a single dose, compared to the 20-mg dose for the Imigran/Imitrex nasal spray.

• NascaCell IP GmbH, of Munich, Germany, began a collaboration with Sanofi-Aventis, of Paris, to use NascaCell's aptamers for accelerated target validation. Aptamers are synthetic oligonucleotides with binding characteristics similar to small molecules. Financial terms were not disclosed.

• NicOx S A, of Sophia-Antipolis, France, started a clinical study to evaluate the effects of HCT 3012 and rofecoxib on arterial blood pressure in patients with mild essential hypertension. The study aims to confirm pivotal Phase II data in osteoarthritis patients suggesting that HCT 3012 decreased systolic blood pressure, while rofecoxib tended to raise systolic blood pressure. The study will be conducted at the University of Pennsylvania and will involve 50 hypertensive patients treated for six weeks with each of the trial medications. Results are expected in the first quarter.

• NLC Pharma Inc., of Israel, and eXegenics Inc., of Pittsford, N.Y., completed an agreement under which the latter will license NLC's QCT drug discovery technology to. eXegenics will receive up to $20 million from royalties, licenses or the sale of QCT technology to third parties that are generated by NLC Pharma. QCT is a rational drug design technology based on quantum chemistry, computational software and molecular modeling.

• Novagali Pharma, of Evry, France, appointed Jér me Martinez chairman and CEO. It also named Alain Munoz president of the supervisory board. Martinez joined Novagali in January as vice president, business development, having worked in the French pharmaceutical industry for 13 years. Munoz is a cardiologist who has spent 20 years in the French pharmaceutical industry, including with Sanofi-Aventis.

• Nucleonics Inc., of Horsham, Pa., requested that the Australian commissioner of patents re-examine Benitec Ltd., of Queensland, Australia, and Australian Patent No. 743316, "Control of Gene Expression." The request cites 24 prior art publications showing that the patent claims are invalid because they lack novelty and do not involve an inventive step. Benitec filed an infringement suit in March against Nucleonics and others, citing its U.S. issued Patent No. 6,573,099. It also has filed an opposition in Australia to the grant of a patent for the seminal invention in RNA interference. Nucelonics believes the Benitec intellectual property portfolio is flawed, and Nucleonics will defend its right to develop therapeutics for chronic viral diseases, said the company CEO Robert Towarnicki.

• ProSkelia SAS, of Paris, and Strachan plc, of Galashiels, UK, completed their merger in June and will name the new company ProStrakan Group plc. The new company appointed Wilson Totten, former group R&D director of Shire Pharmaceuticals plc, as CEO. He replaces the founding CEO Harry Stratford who becomes executive chairman.

• Sinovac Biotech Ltd., of Beijing, said all 36 subjects in a Phase I trial of its inactivated vaccine for severe acute respiratory syndrome have been vaccinated with two doses of either the vaccine or placebo, completing its immunization schedule. No adverse side effects were observed during an observation period after the second inoculation, and blood sampling will be completed at the end of the month.

The UK government commissioned a study of whether or not preemption rights hinder the ability of biotechnology companies to raise money. The legislation requires companies to get approval from existing shareholders before new shares can be issued, slowing the process and often resulting in a fall in the share price. The UK BioIndustry Association is calling for bioscience companies to be allowed to issue up to 20 percent of new shares in any three years, without preemption rules applying.

• Xantos Biomedicine GmbH, of Munich, Germany, raised €4 million (US$4.9 million) in its third round of funding. The company uses advanced robotic methods and functional genomic approaches to assist in the development of new drugs and diagnostics for cancer and metabolic diseases.

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