• Aceto Corp., of Lake Success, N.Y., completed the acquisition of Pharma Waldhof, of Dusseldorf, Germany, from Roche Holding AG, of Basel, Switzerland, for an undisclosed amount. Aceto funded the acquisition with cash on hand and did not incur or assume any debt in connection with the transaction. Aceto distributes and markets pharmaceutical and specialty chemicals.

• Active Biotech AB, of Lund, Sweden, said that as of Jan. 2, the company's shares are being traded under the Attract 40 segment on the Stockholm Stock Exchange. Active Biotech is focused on research and development of drugs focused on inflammatory diseases and cancer.

• Anadys Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Diego, formed a collaboration with Daiichi Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., of Osaka, Japan, to use Anadys' affinity-based screening technology, Atlas, against Daiichi therapeutic targets. Anadys will design, configure and run Atlas assays against a compound collection provided by Daiichi. Financial terms were not disclosed.

• Cell Therapeutics Inc., of Seattle, and Novuspharma SpA, of Milan, Italy, completed their merger, which was approved by shareholders of both companies in October. Cell Therapeutics issued about 15.6 million new shares as consideration for about 6.4 million Novuspharma shares. The new company will begin with about $185 million in cash, cash equivalents, securities available for sale and interest receivable. Cell Therapeutics' common stock is now listed on the Nuovo Mercato in Italy under the "CTIC" ticker symbol. It will continue to trade on Nasdaq under the same symbol. (See BioWorld Today, June 18, 2003.)

• Chiron Corp., of Emeryville, Calif., formed a partnership with ZymeQuest Inc., of Beverly, Mass., to develop and commercialize the latter's enzymatic conversion system, which converts groups A, B and AB red blood cells to enzyme-converted group O (ECO) red blood cells. Chiron will share in development and commercialization costs and make an equity investment in ZymeQuest, in exchange for worldwide marketing and commercial rights for the technology. ZymeQuest will continue to be responsible for developing and manufacturing its enzyme conversion products. Separately, Chiron licensed nucleic acid-based technology for the rapid detection of bacterial contamination in platelets and blood products from Infectio Diagnostic Inc., of Quebec City, Quebec. In addition, Infectio will transfer its research and development and manufacturing technology to Chiron over the next two years. More specific financial terms of the agreements were not disclosed.

• Cytogen Corp., of Princeton, N.J., said clinical data published in a recent issue of Clinical Cancer Research show that overexpression of prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) in primary prostate cancer correlates with other adverse traditional prognostic factors and independently predicts disease recurrence. Among the prostate cancer cases, increased PSMA expression correlated with tumor grade (p=0.030), pathological stage (p=0.029), aneuploidy (p=0.010) and biochemical recurrence (p=0.001). The mean serum prostate-specific antigen level of 18.28 ng/ml at the time of diagnosis for the PSMA-overexpressing tumors was significantly greater than the mean serum PSA of 9.10 ng/ml for the non-PMSA-overexpressing group (p=0.006). Overexpression of PSMA was determined by immunohistochemical staining using the same monoclonal antibody (7E11) used in Cytogen's ProstaScint molecular imaging agent.

• Generex Biotechnology Corp., of Toronto, said that Antigen Express Inc., its wholly owned subsidiary, presented a poster on its DNA vaccine technology for cancer at a conference supported by the National Institutes of Health, of Bethesda, Md. The poster illustrated the benefits of using Antigen Express' patented li protein antisense reagents to induce a T-helper-cell response to prostate cancer antigens. The therapy cured about half of the mice with an aggressive, poorly immunogenic cancer. Generex's stock (NASDAQ:GNBT) climbed 24 cents Monday, or 14.9 percent, to close at $1.85.

• Health Discovery Corp., of Waco, Texas, completed the acquisition of Fractal Genomics, of San Francisco. As part of the acquisition, Sandy Shaw, founder of Fractal Genomics, assumed the position of vice president-Fractal Technology with Health Discovery Corp. Health Discovery will begin work on additional research discovery protocols using the newly acquired, patent-protected bioinformatics software technology known as Fractal Genomics Modeling to find, link and model patterns of similarity hidden in large amounts of information, such as the clinical databases currently used for diagnostic and drug discovery.

• Hemosol Inc., of Toronto, received notice from Nasdaq that it had regained compliance with the Nasdaq National Market's minimum bid price requirement by demonstrating a closing bid price on Nasdaq of at least $1 per share for the 12 consecutive business days ended Dec. 19. Hemosol is developing Hemolink, an oxygen therapeutic designed to improve oxygen delivery via the circulatory system.

• Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Carlsbad, Calif., reported Phase II data that showed ISIS 104838, an antisense TNF-alpha inhibitor, produced a statistically significant disease response in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. In the randomized trial, 157 patients received injections of either placebo or one of the three-dose regimens. Patients receiving the once- and twice-weekly doses experienced similar responses to treatment, with 41 percent of evaluable patients achieving a 20 percent decrease in disease activity, as compared with 23 percent of placebo-treated patients who achieved a 20 percent decrease.

• Lipomics Technologies Inc., of West Sacramento, Calif., signed a research agreement with Bayer Pharmaceuticals Corp., a unit of Bayer AG, of Leverkusen, Germany. Lipomics will evaluate the effects of some drug compounds on metabolism and analyze the lipid profiles of obesity using TrueMass lipid analysis and customized Lipomics Surveyor and Insight graphical representations of lipid metabolism. Financial details were not disclosed.

• Lynx Therapeutics Inc., of Hayward, Calif., completed a $4 million private placement of common stock and warrants. It included the sale of 800,000 shares at $5 each and warrants to purchase 200,000 shares at an exercise price of $6.25 per share. The placement was made with certain independent institutional investors. Lynx develops genomics analysis solutions.

• Noven Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Miami, received a $500,000 cash payment for attaining a development milestone under its product development agreement with P&G Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of the Proctor & Gamble Co., of Cincinnati. Noven expects to report the payment as license and contract revenues in the fourth quarter of 2003. Under the agreement, signed in April, Noven is developing prescription transdermal drug delivery systems for P&G and is entitled to receive up to $7.8 million. The parties have not disclosed the compounds or therapeutic category addressed by the patches under development.

• Osteotech Inc., of Eatontown, N.J., said its Grafton Demineralized Bone Matrix Gel will be featured in the March 15, 2004, issue of the medical journal Spine. The journal will report on a study involving 120 patients at seven U.S. medical centers that showed Grafton DBM Gel, when combined with one-third the amount of iliac crest bone, was equivalent to the use of iliac crest bone alone in achieving lumbar spine fusions.

• Pharmacyclics Inc., of Sunnyvale, Calif., said Phase III findings published in the latest issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology revealed positive neurocognitive function and progression results from a randomized trial of Xcytrin (motexafin gadolinium) injection in combination with whole-brain radiation therapy for the treatment of brain metastases in lung cancer patients. The article describes findings from neurocognitive testing performed as part of Pharmacyclics' previously published Phase III study of 401 patients with metastatic cancer to the brain. The product remains in a pivotal trial that began more than a year ago. (See BioWorld Today, Dec. 20, 2002.)

• SkyePharma plc, of London, formed a license agreement with GlaxoSmithKline plc, also of London, to provide access to one of SkyePharma's formulation technologies for application to the delivery of respiratory drugs either by breath-actuated dry-powder inhaler or by metered-dose aerosol inhaler. GSK made an initial payment to SkyePharma, and SkyePharma is entitled to additional payments and a royalty on sales.

• Symyx Technologies Inc., of Santa Clara, Calif., entered an agreement with Pfizer Inc., of New York, to deliver a Symyx Discovery Tools Polymorph/Pre-Formulations Workflow system and to license applications of Symyx Renaissance Software for use in five Pfizer research sites. The workflow system is a high-throughput integrated workflow designed to identify optimal crystalline salt and polymorphic forms of drug candidates.

• Valentis Inc., of Burlingame, Calif., raised about $6.5 million in a private placement of common stock and warrants to purchase common stock. Several new investors, including New York-based Perseus-Soros Biopharmaceutical Fund LP, participated in the placement. The company issued about 3.2 million shares at $2.05 per share and five-year warrants for about 1.3 million additional shares at an exercise price of $3 each. The company will use proceeds to complete the ongoing Phase II trial of Deltavasc, which is designed to grow new blood vessels in patients with peripheral arterial disease.

• ViaCell Inc., of Boston, is withdrawing its initial public offering plans, about a year after first registering for an IPO. The company noted that current market conditions, coupled with recent business developments, such as the $20 million equity investment it reported last week as part of a development deal with Amgen Inc., of Thousand Oaks, Calif., led it to reconsider. But should more favorable market conditions surface, ViaCell said it would again file for an IPO this year to better reflect its current business operations. (See BioWorld Today, Feb. 1, 2002.)

• XenoPort Inc., of Santa Clara, Calif., established a multiyear research collaboration with Pfizer Inc., of New York. The collaboration will focus on developing technologies that improve access of drugs to targets in the brain by exploiting active transport mechanisms in the cells that form the blood-brain barrier. XenoPort will contribute aspects of its Engineered Drug Transport technologies to identify and characterize absorption and efflux transporters in the central nervous system. Pfizer will contribute its expertise and research funding. The program will develop empirical tools and methodologies to aid in the design of CNS drugs with efficient brain absorption. Both companies will share the use of technologies developed in the program.

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