• 7TM Pharma A/S, of H rsholm, Denmark, entered a second agreement with Synaptic, a subsidiary of H. Lundbeck A/S, of Copenhagen, Denmark. As with the previous agreement, 7TM Pharma will apply its site-directed drug discovery approach to 7TM receptors identified by Synaptic. Further details were not disclosed.

• Aureus Pharma, of Paris, released new versions of the AurScope databases for G protein-coupled receptor and ADME/drug-drug interactions. In addition, Aureus reported the initial release of a new AurScope Ion Channel database project. The AurScope databases are designed to provide chemical and biological information related to drug targets and pharmaceutical topics.

• Australian Cancer Technology Ltd., of Sydney, Australia, raised about A$3.8 million (US$2.7 million) in gross proceeds through a placement of about 9.5 million ordinary shares at A40 cents apiece and about 1.7 million three-year options, exercisable at A60 cents per share. The company said the capital would allow it to continue its overseas expansion into the U.S. and European markets, and also to further develop its anti-idiotypic cancer vaccine, Pentrys. More than 60 percent of the shares were placed with Mercury Investments Ltd., and the remaining shares were underwritten by Jaguar Advisory Services Pty. Ltd. The options have been allocated between Mercury and Jaguar in the amount of 1 million and 653,880, respectively. The shares were placed through Jaguar and Hunting Party Securities Ltd.

• Crucell NV, of Leiden, the Netherlands, said an HIV vaccine produced with its PER.C6 technology would advance to its next phase of clinical trials in the near future. Merck & Co. Inc., of Whitehouse Station, N.J., made the announcement at the AIDS Vaccine 2004 conference in Lausanne, Switzerland. Crucell's agreement with Merck dates to October 2000, when it granted Merck an exclusive commercial license to the PER.C6 technology for the development of an HIV vaccine. The deal provides for up-front and ongoing fees and royalty and milestone payments.

• DeCode Genetics Inc., of Reykjavik, Iceland, was named a defendant in a class-action lawsuit that alleges that during the class period between Oct. 29, 2003, and Aug. 26, 2004, defendants caused DeCode's shares to trade at artificially inflated levels through the issuance of false and misleading statements, including the concealment of continuing internal control problems. On Aug. 26, the company disclosed the resignation of its outside accountant and disclosed a reportable condition with respect to its closing procedures. On this news, its stock collapsed to $5.70, 58 percent below the class period high of $13.80.

• Genedata AG, of Basel, Switzerland, reported the release of version 3.0 of Screener, an integrated data analysis and management system for high-throughput screening and compound profiling. Combining information from screening data, pharmacological properties and chemical structure, the new version of Screener serves to pinpoint false-negatives, reduce false-positive rates and provides guidance for lead optimization, Genedata said.

• Genmab A/S, of Copenhagen, Denmark, said Phase II data of HuMax-CD4 in cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) showed patients had an average response duration of more than 6.6 months. The duration is based on an analysis of responding mycosis fungoides (MF) patients at all dose levels tested. Median time to disease progression of all 38 MF patients in the two Phase II studies is more than 5.7 months. HuMax-CD4 is a high-affinity human antibody that targets the CD4 receptor on T lymphocytes. MF is the most common form of CTCL.

• GPC Biotech AG, of Martinsried, Germany, said it opened enrollment for a Phase I/II study of satraplatin and simultaneous radiation therapy in patients with locally advanced non-small-cell lung cancer. The Phase I portion is expected to enroll up to 30 patients and will determine dose-limiting toxicities, maximum tolerated doses and recommended Phase II doses. The Phase II portion will evaluate the safety and efficacy of the combination therapy at the selected doses. Satraplatin is a platinum-based oral drug that is given as a capsule. Satraplatin also is in a Phase III trial as a second-line chemotherapy treatment in hormone-refractory prostate cancer. GPC is co-developing satraplatin with Spectrum Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Irvine, Calif.

• Intercell AG, of Vienna, Austria, extended its collaboration with Sanofi-Aventis, of Paris, to develop bacterial vaccines. Aventis Pasteur, the vaccine business of Sanofi-Aventis, and Intercell signed a research and license agreement in February to develop vaccines targeting a bacterial disease. The companies said that success in identifying relevant antigens led them to extend the agreement, and Intercell will further develop the identified antigens.

• LION bioscience AG, of Heidelberg, Germany, released LION Target Engine 1.1. LION Target Engine 1.1 is designed to enable scientists in target identification and validation to access all available life science data through a simplified web interface.

• MediGene AG, of Martinsried, Germany, began a Phase I/II trial of NV1020 for liver metastases developing from colorectal cancer. The trial will evaluate safety, tolerability and efficacy of the product in about 30 patients, as well as its synergies with chemotherapy. NV1020 is a herpes simplex virus, genetically modified for the destruction of tumor cells without harming healthy tissue. MediGene expects results by mid 2006.

• MorphoSys AG, of Martinsried, Germany, will be added to the TecDAX index as of Sept. 20. The TecDAX tracks the performance of the 30 largest technology companies in the Deutsche Boerse's Prime Standard category listed at the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, as measured by trading volume and market capitalization. Separately, MorphoSys said Thomas von Rüden, chief scientific officer, has left the company, where he had also been a member of the three-person board of management. Until a successor is appointed, MorphoSys will continue to be managed by the other two board members: Simon Moroney, CEO, and Dave Lemus, chief financial officer. Moroney will add research and development to his responsibilities.

• Oy Jurilab Ltd., of Kupio, Finland, entered an agreement with Summit Pharmaceuticals International Corp., of Tokyo, under which Summit will promote its disease gene discovery and pharmacogenetics research programs and research services in Japan. That will enable biotechnology and pharmaceutical firms in Japan to access Jurilab's collection of DNA samples and associated phenotypic data collected from 20,000 subjects descended from a founder population in eastern Finland. The agreement also will open up licensing opportunities in Japan for Jurilab's collection of genetic markers and other components.

• Protherics plc, of Runcorn, UK, filed for approval of its DigiFab treatment for Digoxin toxicity in the UK. The polyclonal antibody was approved by the FDA in 2001 and Protherics booked £6 million (US$10.8 million) in revenues from U.S sales of the product in the financial year ended March 2004.

• Serono SA, of Geneva, will receive a license fee of $67 million, payable in annual installments over the next three years, for a license it granted for a "non-core technology." The payment is being made as an alternative to future royalties, and Serono will record the amount as exceptional royalty revenue in its third-quarter 2004 results. The identity of the licensee was not disclosed. The company says it is still expecting its annual revenues to increase by at least 12 percent and its net income by at least 20 percent (in local currency terms) this year.

• Techno Venture Management, of Munich, Germany, promoted Annegret de Baey to principal in the life science team. TVM also added Jens Eckstein as a principal in its life science research team in Boston.

• Xenova Group plc, of Slough, UK, completed the sale of its manufacturing facility in Edmonton, Alberta, to Edmonton-based QSV Biologics Ltd. for C$7 million (US$5.4 million). The sale concludes the planned disposals and cost-reduction program announced at the time of the KS Biomedix plc acquisition last year. Proceeds from the sale will be used to fund expenses relating to Xenova's programs. Xenova also agreed to a manufacturing and supply contract with QSV for TransMID, which is in Phase III trials for high-grade glioma. All 30 of Xenova's employees at the facility, including those involved in the production of TransMID, transferred to QSV.

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