• Alba Therapeutics Corp., of Baltimore, signed a supply agreement with Brussels, Belgium-based Solvay SA, through Solvay affiliate Peptisyntha, which will lead the manufacturing process development of Alba's upcoming products. Alba also signed a lease with the Emerging Technology Center in Baltimore and recently moved into its new offices. Alba focuses on commercializing disease-modifying therapeutics and drug delivery enhancers.

• AspenBio Inc., of Castle Rock, Colo., raised about $1.3 million with a private placement of unregistered units consisting of 20,000 common shares and 20,000 warrants. The warrants are exercisable for three years at $1.50 per share. The company will use the funds for working capital, new product development and general corporate purposes.

• Bioenvision Inc., of New York, submitted a marketing authorization application for clofarabine to European regulatory authorities as a treatment of refractory or relapsed acute leukemias in children. The authorities accepted and validated the application and have begun to review it. The filing primarily was based on data from two pivotal Phase II trials in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Clofarabine, a next-generation purine nucleoside antimetabolite, has orphan drug designation for both indications in Europe. The FDA accepted the filing of a new drug application in June, and the company began a pivotal trial of clofarabine in AML in Europe earlier this month. Bioenvision also announced that its common stock is now trading on the Nasdaq National Market under the symbol "BIVN." It previously had traded on the American Stock Exchange under "BIV." (See BioWorld Today, Aug. 11, 2004.)

• ConjuChem Inc., of Montreal, sold C$15 million (US$11.6 million) worth of convertible senior subordinated notes to Baker Brothers Investments in New York. The financing previously was announced at C$25 million, but the Toronto Stock Exchange imposed a shareholder-approval requirement on the full amount of the financing, which the company said it could not have obtained within the deadline of the original agreement. All other terms and conditions remain the same. ConjuChem plans to use the proceeds to maintain clinical trial progress for its two lead products, DAC:GLP-1 and DAC:GRF, as well as to fund research and development and for general corporate expenses. (See BioWorld Today, July 22, 2004.)

• Crucell NV, of Leiden, the Netherlands, and allied contract manufacturer DSM Biologics, of Sittard, the Netherlands, signed a PER.C6 research license agreement with San Francisco-based Synergenics LLC and Synco Bio Partners Investments, of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Synergenics and Synco will use the cell line to develop monoclonal antibodies for infectious diseases. Crucell and DSM will receive an up-front payment and annual maintenance fees. Earlier this month, Crucell and DSM signed a similar deal with London-based GlaxoSmithKline plc. (See BioWorld Today, Aug. 16, 2004.)

The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston said its researchers published findings in the Aug. 20, 2004, issue of Cell showing that the removal of three proteins called cyclin D1, D2 and D3, which are believed to be essential to cell division and growth, had little impact on normal tissue development of a mouse embryo. Those same proteins, when overly active, have been linked to cancer cell proliferation. It had been thought that at least one cyclin was required for an embryo to be viable and its tissues to form normally, but the triple-knockout mouse embryos followed a normal course of cell division and proliferation until as late as 13.5 days, when most tissues and organs already are formed. A typical mouse pregnancy lasts 18 days.

• V.I. Technologies Inc., of Watertown, Mass., rescheduled until Sept. 3 its special shareholder meeting to vote on proposals related to its merger with Panacos Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Gaithersburg, Md. The meeting was rescheduled to allow the companies time to consider strategic financing proposals that Vitex has received, which require the consultation and approval of both companies. The $27 million stock-exchange merger was proposed earlier this summer. (See BioWorld Today, June 4, 2004.)

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