• Advanced Viral Research Corp., of Yonkers, N.Y., said preclinical data reported at the International Society of Chemotherapy meeting in Florence, Italy, showed that AVR118 exhibits two anticancer effects - the first, its ability to induce maturation of malignant leukemic cells, and the second is its ability to inhibit metastasis and invasion of a malignant breast cancer cell line. The results stem from studies designed to determine the in vitro biologic effects of AVR118 in two experimental cancer systems, a differentiation model in leukemia cells and a metastasis model in invasive breast cancer cells.

• Adventrx Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Diego, said the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston received a $1.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., to develop EradicAide vaccine technology to treat HIV and AIDS. Adventrx has exclusive worldwide rights to EradicAide. The vaccine is composed of a cocktail of synthetic peptides based upon conserved regions from HIV virus envelope proteins gp 120 and gp 41. Adventrx plans to begin clinical trials later this year.

• Athersys Inc., of Cleveland, said data published in the Feb. 17, 2004, edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences describe the application of the company's RAGE (Random Activation of Gene Expression) technology platform to the discovery of multiple protein factors involved in the NF-kB pathway. The research was conducted in collaboration with the Lerner Research Institute at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation.

• Australian Cancer Technology Ltd., of Sydney, Australia, said it intends to list on the Nasdaq market through the use of American depository receipts. It will employ Global Markets Capital Group LLC, of New York, for advice on the process as well as in developing corporate activities such as U.S. merger and acquisition initiatives. The company's pipeline includes a cancer vaccine called Pentrix.

• Biotechnology Industry Organization in Washington announced that Joshua Boger, a member of its board and executive committee, presided over the Nasdaq National Market open on Friday. The Nasdaq market welcomed BIO to its open in honor of the 6th annual BIO CEO & Investor Conference being held Feb. 23-25 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York. Boger is chairman and CEO of Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Cambridge, Mass.

• Gene Logic Inc., of Gaithersburg, Md., received a multiyear renewal from Boehringer Ingelheim International GmbH, of Ingelheim, Germany, to continue to use Gene Logic's information services in its pharmaceutical research and development programs. Boehringer Ingelheim first established an agreement in December 2000. Financial terms were not disclosed.

• GPC Biotech AG, of Martinsried, Germany, said in vitro data reported at the International Society of Chemotherapy meeting in Florence, Italy, pointed to the efficacy of satraplatin in tumor cells resistant to both Taxotere (docetaxel) and Taxol (paclitaxel). The study evaluated the effect of satraplatin on two taxane-resistant cell lines, one that expresses mutant tubulin and another that overexpresses P-glycoprotein (Pgp). Findings showed that neither resistance mechanism conveyed resistance to satraplatin, thus supporting a lack of cross-resistance between satraplatin and the two approved taxanes.

• Hudson Health Sciences Inc., of South San Francisco, began enrolling patients in a Phase I trial to investigate its lead compound, PT-523, in solid tumors. The study is designed to evaluate the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics (including maximum tolerated dose) and preliminary efficacy of PT-523 in patients with advanced solid tumors who have failed curative or survival-prolonging therapy, or for whom no such therapies exist. It is expected to enroll between 20 and 40 patients over the next six to nine months.

• Icogen Corp., of Seattle, is changing its name to Icogenex Corp. in an effort to reflect a new focus for the company. In addition to its core research directed toward cloning, expressing and marketing therapeutic proteins, Icogenex is including new screening methods and focuses specifically on the development of therapeutics for inflammatory disorders and Alzheimer's disease.

• Inflazyme Pharmaceuticals Ltd., of Vancouver, British Columbia, said enrollment was completed in a Phase IIa study of IPL512,602 for asthma. The 12-week study, labeled AVE0547/2001, is being conducted by Aventis SA, of Strasbourg, France, as part of a collaboration with Inflazyme. It is designed to determine the efficacy and safety of orally administered IPL512,602 in about 120 male patients with mild to moderate persistent asthma.

• Innovation Philadelphia, of Philadelphia, said it made an investment in antimicrobial developer Chaperone Technologies Inc., of Wayne, Pa. Chaperone's research is centered on its discoveries of the activity of native, short, proline-rich peptides and their derivatives, and the use of their pyrrhocoricin-based analogues to block protein folding by inhibiting interaction with the molecular chaperone DnaK. Its first product is in development for treating complicated or drug-resistant urinary tract infections.

• Lonza Group AG, of Basel, Switzerland, and Geneva-based NovImmune SA formed an agreement for the production and supply of clinical-grade monoclonal antibody drugs for marketing purposes. NovImmune develops therapeutic monoclonal antibodies based on its direct access to transgenic mouse technology and antibody display technology. The agreement provides Lonza with rights to manufacture NovImmune's products and those in-licensed through partners.

• NewLink Genetics Inc., of Ames, Iowa, was awarded $6 million from the Iowa Values Fund Board as part of a statewide incentive initiative to create and retain jobs. The company is developing diagnostic and therapeutic agents for cancer.

• Palatin Technologies Inc., of Cranbury, N.J., said The International Journal Impotence Research: The Journal of Sexual Medicine published a manuscript that validates the clinical relevance of PT-141 in erectile dysfunction patients. The company plans to start Phase III trials in early 2005. The manuscript shows results of an at-home Phase IIb study of men with erectile dysfunction who took the intranasally administered drug. The men reported consistently improved erectile function across all dosing levels.

• Phytodyne Inc., of Ames, Iowa, said the Iowa Values Fund awarded the company $5 million to expand its research and development facility. The company, which was founded in 2000, is focused on discoveries from Iowa State University's Plant Sciences Institute. The technology is expected to revolutionize the design, development and commercialization of high-value biotech crops, said Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack.

• Protein Design Labs Inc., of Fremont, Calif., said the Journal of Biological Chemistry published results in its current issue of research in which PDL scientists produced a significant extension of the serum half-life of human antibodies. The company's scientists engineered variants of human IgG antibodies with an approximate doubling of serum half-life from about two to about four weeks in rhesus monkeys. If the antibodies can double from three to six weeks in humans, the work could form the basis of attempting less-frequent dosing of patients with autoimmune diseases or other chronic conditions.