• Corautus Genetics Inc., of Atlanta, closed a $2.25 million financing through the sale of 376,000 common shares to two institutional investors. The investors also received warrants for 18,800 shares, exercisable at about $8.38 apiece. The financing will support the company's advancement of its VEGF-2 therapeutic through the clinic. Since December, Corautus has raised $10.7 million.

• Genmab A/S, of Copenhagen, Denmark, said F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd., of Basel, Switzerland, selected two antibodies as candidates for clinical development. The antibodies were developed under a collaboration between the companies that began in May 2001. Under the agreement, Genmab creates human antibodies to a range of disease targets identified by Roche, and Genmab is entitled to milestone and royalty payments based on successful products. The collaboration is potentially worth $100 million to Genmab, plus royalties.

• Introgen Therapeutics Inc., of Austin, Texas, withdrew its proposed public offering of 5.5 million common shares filed earlier this month. The company cited market conditions as the reason for the withdrawal. Introgen develops products that induce therapeutic protein expression using non-integrating gene agents to treat cancer and other diseases.

The Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute of the New York Blood Center said its researchers and colleagues published findings in the March 20, 2004, issue of The Lancet pointing to their discovery of a peptide that might inhibit infection from severe acute respiratory syndrome. The CP-1 peptide, derived from the HR2 region in the spike protein of SARS-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV) has inhibitory activity against SARS-CoV. The researchers plan to design and synthesize more potent anti-SARS-CoV peptides to develop into drugs for treating the early stage of infection and for prevention of SARS. They identified the peptide and studied its mechanism of action through similar approaches to their decade-ago discovery of an anti-HIV peptide that was developed into Fuzeon (enfuvirtide, Trimeris Inc. and F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd.).

• Matritech Inc., of Newton, Mass., raised about $6.6 million after closing a private placement of about 4.9 million common shares and warrants to purchase another 1.2 million shares at a $2 exercise price. Rodman & Renshaw LLC was the transaction's placement agent. Matritech develops proteomics-based diagnostic products.

• OSI Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Melville, N.Y., began a Phase II study of monotherapy Tarceva (erlotinib HCl) vs. standard chemotherapy in previously untreated non-small-cell lung cancer patients. Tarceva is designed to block tumor cell growth by inhibiting the tyrosine kinase activity of the HER1/EGFR receptor. It is being developed by OSI, Genentech Inc., of South San Francisco, and Roche Holdings Inc., of Basel, Switzerland. The randomized, open-label study will enroll up to 102 patients and will evaluate Tarceva vs. paclitaxel and carboplatin in patients who have not performed well. The primary endpoint is progression-free survival.

• Zapaq Inc., of Waltham, Mass., raised $6 million in a private financing with Sanderling Ventures and Yamanouchi Venture Capital. The company will use the funds to advance an Alzheimer's disease compound toward clinical development. The company's scientific founders have discovered a family of enzymes known as aspartic proteases believed to play a role in Alzheimer's. Robert McNeil and Paul Grayson, both of Sanderling Ventures, joined the Zapaq board. McNeil will serve as chairman.