• Co.don AG, of Berlin, was awarded U.S. Patent No. 6,713,269 on a process for the creation of primary cell cultures from a patient's bone materials. The patent also covers test methods for the early diagnosis of osteoporosis and for assessing the effectiveness of medicines in treating osteoporosis. The patent will be in effect through the middle of 201. The company has applied for similar patents in Europe, Canada and Japan.

• Eiffel Technologies Ltd., of Sydney, Australia, placed about 36.4 million ordinary shares at A82.5 cents each, raising A$3 million (US$2.1 million). About 8.6 million shares will be subject to approval at a shareholder meeting. The balance, about 14 percent of the company's capital, will be issued immediately. Intersuisse Corporate managed the placement, which included new and existing investors. Funds will be used to accelerate the company's commercial development and to pursue corporate opportunities.

• Erasmus University Medical Center/Sophia Children's Hospital in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., said their researchers published findings in the Aug. 4, 2004, issue of the New England Journal of Medicine showing that a relatively small number of genes are linked to either resistance or sensitivity to four major cancer drugs used to treat acute lymphoblastic leukemia. They identified four groups of genes, each of which had a characteristic pattern of expression in leukemia cells, depending on whether they were sensitive or resistant to the four antileukemic agents, and found that the expression pattern of the genes was related to treatment outcome.

• Lonza Biologics plc, of Slough, UK, and Transkaryotic Therapies Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., entered an agreement in which Lonza will manufacture Dynepo, TKT's gene-activated erythropoietin product. Lonza will do the work at its production facility in Slough for an undisclosed amount. Dynepo is approved for commercial use in the European Union for the treatment of anemia associated with kidney disease.

• NeuroSearch A/S, of Ballerup, Denmark, and Abbott Laboratories, of Abbott Park, Ill., reported that Abbott initiated Phase I studies with the compound ABT-894 for the treatment of neuropathic pain. In preclinical models, ABT-894 demonstrated a pain-relieving effect similar to morphine without causing side effects associated with morphine and other opioids. NeuroSearch will receive an undisclosed milestone payment from Abbott.

• Nippon Genetics Co. Ltd., of Tokyo, and NeoPharm Inc., of Lake Forest, Ill., entered a nonexclusive worldwide distribution and marketing agreement for NeoPharm's NeoPhectin and NeoPhectin-AT. Nippon Genetics will market and promote the products to its genetic engineering customers. NeoPhectin is an in vitro transfection reagent that uses NeoPharm's cationic cardiolipin technology, while NeoPhectin-AT is an in vivo transfection reagent for nucleic acid delivery including siRNA.

• Nonlinear Dynamics Ltd., of Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK, entered a collaboration with Matrix Science Ltd., of London, to integrate Nonlinear Dynamics' protein informatics system into Matrix's Mascot Server. The goal of the agreement is to provide an integrated solution for the analysis and identification of proteins through mass spectrometry.

• Phares Drug Delivery AG, of Muttenz, Switzerland, signed a binding letter of intent to out-license an inhalation platform technology to Inyx Inc., of New York. Phares said the technology would enable its licensee to develop inhalation therapy drugs, including combination drugs, delivered in aerosol formats. Phares expects to complete the acquisition within 60 days. Financial terms were not disclosed.

• Pierre Fabre Medicament, of Castres, France, and Merck & Co. Inc., of Whitehouse Station, N.J., formed an agreement for F50035, Pierre Fabre's recombinant humanized antibody targeted against the insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) receptor. F50035 is in preclinical development for the treatment of cancer. Both partners will participate in a three-year, renewable research program aimed at completing characterization of the antitumor activity of F50035 and identifying backup antibodies. Merck will be responsible for development and manufacturing of F50035 and will receive worldwide marketing rights for F50035 and related antibodies, with Pierre Fabre maintaining exclusive rights to commercialize the product in France and certain other French-speaking countries. Financial terms were not disclosed. The IGF-1 receptor is overexpressed in many tumor types, including those of the colon, breast and prostate.

• Prana Biotechnology Ltd., of Melbourne, Australia, appointed Jonas Alsenas CEO. Alsenas, who has served as a board member and an investor in the company, will be based in Connecticut. Prana decided to appoint a U.S.-based CEO as part of its plan to internationalize its scope, it said. Separately, Prana and its partners at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston agreed to settle all outstanding litigation with P.N. Gerolymatos SA, of Athens, Greece, regarding patents on clioquinol (also known as PBT-1). All patent oppositions in Europe and Australia are being withdrawn, and lawsuits pending in the U.S. and Greece are being dismissed. Prana and P.N.G. agreed to recognize each company's right to develop clioquinol for Alzheimer's disease in their respective territories. Prana will hold rights in the U.S. and Japan, while P.N.G. will hold rights for European and other territories. Prana also agreed to allot 1.35 million shares, which will be held in escrow for 12 months, and pay a royalty to P.N.G. on U.S. and Japanese sales. Prana will receive a percentage of P.N.G.'s income for the other territories.

• Qiagen NV, of Venlo, the Netherlands, priced $150 million worth of senior unsubordinated convertible notes due 2024. They will be convertible into common stock at a conversion price of about $12.64, subject to adjustment, and will pay a coupon of 1.5 percent, payable semi-annually in arrear. At the time of pricing, the stock was valued at about $8.59 per share. The company sold the notes to institutional investors outside the U.S.

• Sinovac Biotech Ltd., of Beijing, said all 36 subjects in its Phase I trial of its inactivated SARS vaccine have been vaccinated with either the vaccine or placebo. Half of the patients have been injected with either high-dose vaccine or placebo, while the other half received either low-dose vaccine or placebo. The volunteers are observed for reaction the first three days, and then less frequently over the 210-day observation process. No adverse side effects have been observed.

• SkyePharma plc, of London, said partner Astralis Ltd., of Fairfield, N.J., presented positive Phase I results from a trial of Psoraxine in the treatment of moderate psoriasis. The treatment was well tolerated and some efficacy trends were observed. A 120-patient U.S. study is in progress. SkyePharma has the option to acquire worldwide licensing and distribution rights to Psoraxine.

• Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., of Jerusalem, and partner Savient Pharmaceuticals Inc., of East Brunswick, N.J., intend to proceed with plans to bring Savient's human growth hormone to the U.S. market later this year following a favorable court ruling. The partners said a U.S. district court found invalid and unenforceable a patent relating to recombinant human growth hormone that belongs to Novo Nordisk A/S, of Bagsvaerd, Denmark. Approved by the FDA and already marketed in more than 30 countries, the product for growth hormone deficiency in children is licensed to Teva for U.S. distribution.

• Trinity Biotech plc, of Dublin, Ireland, received clearance from the FDA to market its Captia HSV IgG Type Specific ELISAs in the U.S. The products are approved for the detection of IgG antibodies to HSV 1 and HSV 2 in human serum. The Captia HSV Type Specific ELISAs use recombinant glycoproteins gG-1 and gG-2, which are type specific for HSV 1 and HSV 2 antibodies, respectively, Trinity said.

• Vivascience AG, of Hannover, Germany, and PerkinElmer Inc., of Boston, entered a partnership and distribution agreement in biomarker screening and discovery. Vivascience will supply its membrane adsorber chromatography technology for capturing biomarkers to PerkinElmer, which then will combine the technology with its methods for elution to create fractionation and biomarker sample-preparation kits. The kits will be integrated with PerkinElmer's automated platform for biomarker screening.

• Wilex AG, of Munich, Germany, appointed Niels Ackermann chief financial officer and a member of its executive board. Ackermann had been acting CFO since April, when he joined from Cardion AG, of Erkrath, Germany, where he had been CFO. His previous experience also includes a stint as an investment banker for Goldman, Sachs & Co. in Frankfurt, Germany, where he was involved in the preparation of several initial public offerings. Wilex was founded in 1997 and focuses on cancer treatments.

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