• AaiPharma Inc., of Wilmington, N.C., received notification that the company is in compliance with the current requirements necessary for continued listing on the Nasdaq National Market. The company's ticker symbol reverted to "AAII" on Friday. AaiPharma previously was not in compliance for failing to file its financial report for the period ended March 31.

• Acacia Research Corp., of Newport Beach, Calif., said its CombiMatrix group entered a co-marketing agreement with Strand Genomics Pvt. Ltd., of Bangalore, India, to market avadis, a data analysis software tool for microarray gene expression. Avadis combines scalable analytical algorithms with powerful and interactive visualization to derive insights from gene-expression data. It enables CombiMatrix's customers to order, redesign and reorder CustomArrays through various data analysis approaches within the avadis software.

• Alimera Sciences Inc., of Atlanta, raised $26.75 million in Series A financing. The recently formed specialty pharmaceutical company said it would use the funds for acquisition and continued development of its ophthalmic pharmaceutical pipeline and for the commercialization of its over-the-counter ophthalmic products. The financing round included four investment groups that made equal contributions and each gained a seat on the board: Intersouth Partners, BA Venture Partners, Domain Associates and Polaris Venture Partners.

• AnorMED Inc., of Vancouver, British Columbia, said positive clinical data from healthy volunteers support continued clinical development of AMD070 for HIV. The product is moving into a Phase Ib/IIa program in collaboration with researchers at the U.S. Adult AIDS Clinical Trials Group, which is supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. AnorMED plans to initiate the Phase Ib/IIa trial by the fall of this year. AMD070 targets the CXCR4 chemokine receptor and is designed to prevent HIV from entering cells.

• Cardiome Pharma Corp., of Vancouver, British Columbia, said its independent data safety monitoring board recommended the company continue a Phase II trial evaluating oxypurinol as an add-on treatment for Class III-IV congestive heart failure. The recommendation was based on the first planned safety analysis of data from the first subset of patients to complete the 24-week trial, which is called OPT-CHF, and a review of safety data from all currently enrolled patients. In order to protect the trial's integrity, the company remains blinded to the data. OPT- CHF will enroll 400 patients, and Cardiome expects enrollment to complete by the end of this year, with results reported in the third quarter of next year.

• DOR BioPharma Inc., of Miami, named Geoff Green president and acting CEO, following the resignation of Ralph Ellison as president, CEO and director. Green was promoted after formerly serving as chief operating officer of the company, which is focused on biodefense vaccines and therapeutics. At the same time, Gregory Davenport was promoted to the newly created position of president of the company's biodefense division. He formerly served as vice president of business development. Ellison resigned for personal reasons.

• eXegenics Inc., of Pittsford, N.Y., failed to obtain the requisite votes to hold its special meeting of shareholders that sought a proposal for a 1-for-2 reverse split of its common stock. The drug discovery company said the proposal was put forward in an effort to comply with representations made by its prior board members and executive officers in a hearing before Nasdaq. eXegenics said it is evaluating specific business opportunities in an effort to enhance shareholder value.

• Gilead Sciences Inc., of Foster City, Calif., is reducing the price of Viread (tenofovir disoproxil fumarate) in the developing world. Viread, a once-a-day antiretroviral for HIV to be used in combination therapy, already is offered at no profit in all African countries and 15 other developing nations, but Gilead managed to reduce the cost even further with an improved manufacturing process. The cost now will be $24.71 for a 30-day supply, a 37 percent reduction from the original no-profit price.

• IsoTis OrthoBiologics SA, of Lausanne, Switzerland, said Phase II data of its chronic wound treatment product Allox demonstrated complete wound closure in 45 percent of patients, compared with 33.3 percent of controls. The study enrolled 110 eligible patients at 20 centers in Europe and the Americas. Patients received Allox in different proportions and quantities of keratinocytes and fibroblasts. The primary endpoint was the closure of hard-to-heal ulcers after 16 weeks, while the secondary endpoint was ulcer size reduction. IsoTis and its subsidiary EpiSource intend to file an investigational new drug application to begin a Phase III trial with Allox.

• New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York said its researchers published findings in the July 1, 2004, issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology showing that radiolabeled J591 delivered radiation directly to prostate cancer sites. The antibody was well tolerated and demonstrated antitumor activity. The researchers said a Phase II study would begin later this year.

• St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., said its researchers were part of a team of scientists that published findings in the July 8, 2004, online edition of Nature showing that the recent avian influenza virus in East Asia arose through a series of genetic re-assortment events with other viruses. Re-assortment is the swapping of genes when two or more viruses infect the same animal. The researchers say that their study of the genetic makeup of H5N1 subtypes collected since 1997 traces the evolution of the virus through a series of re-assortment events. Results of the study indicate that domestic ducks in southern China played a role in the generation of the virus. The team also included scientists from the People's Republic of China, China's Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia.

• SuperGen Inc., of Dublin, Calif., said Phase II data of Dacogen (decitabine) in myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) demonstrated platelet responses in 63 percent of patients, leading to a favorable overall survival. The data are published in the August issue of the journal Leukemia Research. The three consecutive Phase II trials enrolled 170 patients with intermediate and high-risk MDS.

• Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., said 48-week data showed the protease inhibitor Lexiva (fosamprenavir calcium) dosed with ritonavir once daily provided antiviral suppression that was comparable to the protease inhibitor nelfinavir dosed twice daily. The data were published in AIDS. Both regimens were generally well tolerated. The FDA approved Lexiva last October to treat HIV in adults in combination with other antiretroviral agents. It was co-discovered by Vertex and GlaxoSmithKline plc, of London. (See BioWorld Today, Oct. 22, 2003.)

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