• Agilent Technologies Inc., of Palo Alto, Calif., launched a whole-genome oligonucleotide microarray for the study of Arabidopsis thaliana, the primary model plant used in gene-expression research. The kit allows scientists to understand processes in common crop plants, such as corn, soybean and cotton, the company said, adding that such knowledge could be used to improve crop yields, enhance the quality of plant fibers, foods and other materials, and increase plant resistance to disease and drought.

• Applied Imaging Corp., of San Jose, Calif., released Ariol 2.0, the latest generation of its Ariol imaging analysis system. Ariol 2.0 combines screening for genetic abnormalities and protein expression.

• CeMines Inc., of Evergreen, Colo., created a new business unit: the CeMines BioSystems Division. The creation of the unit follows CeMines in June expanding its diagnostics and therapeutics research division and relocating it from Los Angeles to La Jolla, Calif. The space in La Jolla is 9,000 square feet.

• Cornell University in New York said researchers from the Weill Cornell Medical College used a gene therapy called trans-splicing to correct the inherited immune disorder called Hyper IgM X-linked immunodeficiency in mice without increasing malignancy risk. Trans-splicing corrects the mutation at the mRNA level. The research was published in the July 25, 2004, issue of Nature Medicine.

• Cubist Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Lexington, Mass., said an independent Data Safety Monitoring Board recommended continuation of a Phase III trial of Cubicin (daptomycin for injection) for infective endocarditis and bacteremia caused by Staphylococcus aureus. Patients with blood cultures positive for the presence of S. aureus are being enrolled at sites in the U.S. and certain Western European countries. The study recently has been expanded to include patients with left-sided endocarditis, whereas previously the protocol included patients with right-sided endocarditis and complicated or uncomplicated bacteremia. The committee's recommendation follows its third planned safety review.

• Elite Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Northvale, N.J., said the exclusive right to negotiate a license from Elite's wholly owned subsidiary, Elite Laboratories Inc., for Elite's abuse-resistance technology for oxycodone, previously granted to Purdue Pharma LP, has lapsed. Purdue's inaction regarding the option has caused the exclusivity granted to Purdue to terminate, and Elite intends to recommence negotiations to license its proprietary abuse-resistance technology to other companies. The abuse-resistance technology is designed to discourage and reduce abuse of opioid analgesic medications by making the products more difficult to abuse when crushed, damaged or otherwise manipulated.

• Emergent Technologies Inc., of Austin, Texas, said the chief scientist of its portfolio company, Pure Protein LLC, was awarded a $270,000 grant from the Oklahoma Center for Advancement of Science and Technology to develop new assays to validate epitopes previously discovered in his lab. The award will be made to William Hildebrand's University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center lab, and will be shared with Pure Protein's lab located at the Oklahoma Health Center Research Park in Oklahoma City.

• Emisphere Technologies Inc., of Tarrytown, N.Y., selected a soft gelatin capsule formulation of unfractionated heparin (UFH), an antithrombotic/anticoagulant, which achieved clinically significant delivery of heparin. The formulation was chosen after the evaluation of results from a clinical trial comparing various oral dosage formulations of Emisphere Heparin/SNAC to the company's liquid UFH formulation, which previously was tested in a Phase III trial. With the new formulation, Emisphere plans to initiate discussions with the FDA to outline a clinical development program, comparing one of the new oral UFH solid dosage forms with the currently marketed, low-molecular-weight injectable heparin product (enoxaparin).

• Endo Pharmaceuticals Holdings Inc., of Chadds Ford, Pa., announced the pricing of a secondary public offering of 11 million of its common shares at $17.70 apiece, though it will not receive any of the $194.7 million in resulting proceeds. The majority of the shares, which are issued and outstanding, are being sold by Endo's controlling shareholder, Endo Pharma LLC, an affiliate of a private equity investment firm called Kelso & Co. Certain members of management have an ownership interest in Endo Pharma LLC. Shares also are being sold by management, employees and certain directors of Endo. It has about 131.8 million shares outstanding.

• ImClone Systems Inc., of New York, received a cash payment of $5 million for achieving a milestone in its license agreement with Merck KgaA, of Darmstadt, Germany, for development of Erbitux (cetuximab), an IgG1 monoclonal antibody, outside of North America. The milestone relates to the European Commission's approval of the drug for the treatment of patients with metastatic EGFR-expressing colorectal cancer after failure of cytotoxic therapy including irinotecan. Upon payment, ImClone issued 58,807 shares of its common stock to Merck KGaA, representing the sale of those shares at a 10 percent premium to market value, as provided in the license agreement.

• Immtech International Inc., of Vernon Hills., Ill., said that the previously reported underwritten public offering of 899,999 shares of its common stock, including the underwriter's overallotment option, closed on July 30. All of the shares were sold by the company to institutional investors, and gross proceeds to the company were about $9.2 million. Immtech is focused on advancing the development and commercialization of oral drugs to treat infectious diseases and neoplastic and metabolic disorders.

• Keryx Biopharmaceuticals Inc., of New York, initiated the first Keryx-sponsored chemotherapy combination study for KRX-0401 (perifosine), an oral AKT inhibitor for the treatment of cancer. The multicenter trial will evaluate KRX-0401's efficacy in combination with gemcitabine (Gemzar) in the treatment of several tumor types for which gemcitabine is indicated, including non-small-cell lung, breast and pancreatic cancer. The study will evaluate the safety and tolerability of three continuous daily dosing regimens in patients with non-small-cell lung cancer, breast cancer and pancreatic cancer who have failed treatment with gemcitabine.

• NeoPharm Inc., of Lake Forest, Ill., said the first patient in a Phase I trial of its tumor-targeting compound, IL13-PE38QQR, for the treatment of malignant glioma at initial diagnosis, was treated at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland. IL13-PE38QQR is being administered via convection-enhanced delivery following tumor resection after initial diagnosis, using catheters placed directly in the brain near the tumor-resection site. IL13-PE38QQR is being studied in patients with malignant glioma at initial diagnosis, which include, but are not limited to, glioblastoma multiforme, anaplastic astrocytoma and malignant mixed oligoastrocytoma.

• Novacea Inc., of South San Francisco, updated its ASCENT Phase II/III trial of DN-101 in combination with Taxotere (docetaxel) for androgen-independent prostate cancer (AIPC). It said that all 250 patients now have been followed for at least six months. The company has reviewed the primary endpoint and safety data from the trial at that time point. Also, the trial's independent Data Safety Monitoring Board previously completed two interim reviews and an additional review of the trial's safety. The company has decided to continue the trial in a blinded manner without modification in order to follow the secondary endpoints to the previously planned 12-month time point.

• Onyx Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Richmond, Calif., and Bayer Pharmaceuticals Corp., of West Haven, Conn., said European regulatory authorities granted orphan drug status to BAY 43-9006 for renal-cell carcinoma. The partners said the drug also is under review for orphan drug designation by the FDA. In worldwide Phase III testing, BAY 43-9006 is a RAF kinase and VEGFR inhibitor that is intended to prevent tumor growth by combining the inhibition of tumor-cell proliferation and tumor angiogenesis.

• PerkinElmer Inc., of Boston, and Vivascience AG, of Hannover, Germany, 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.

• 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.

• ProteoTech Inc., of Kirkland, Wash., received a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Institute of Aging in Bethesda, Md. The $520,840 award will fund a one-year study to analyze the regulation of proteoglycan genes and proteins that are believed to play a critical role in the pathogenesis of amyloid plaque development in Alzheimer's disease. In addition, the role of proteoglycans and related glycosaminoglycans as potential diagnostic markers in biological fluids for Alzheimer's disease is under research at Proteotech, the company said.

• 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.

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