• Aphton Corp., of Miami, began submission of regulatory documentation to the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration for the registration of G17DT as a monotherapy in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer who are either unable to tolerate or elect not to take chemotherapy. G17DT is an antigastrin-targeted immunotherapy that induces antibodies that bind to both gastrin-17 and gly-gastrin and remove them from circulation before they can bind to the cancer cell and initiate cell growth, Aphton said.

• AVI BioPharma Inc., of Portland, Ore., released data compiled from its Phase I/II West Nile virus trial with its Neugene antisense drug, AVI-4020. The primary objective of the trial was to assess safety, and AVI-4020 demonstrated a safety profile consistent with other Neugene antisense drugs. No safety concerns pertaining to the drug were identified during the study. The trial enrolled 10 patients - nine received AVI-4020 and one received placebo.

• BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc., of Novato, Calif., said patients receiving protein-based biopharmaceuticals might eventually benefit from a technology to improve their immune tolerance to such treatments, according to early stage research to be published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study, led by BioMarin, demonstrated a substantial reduction in the long-term immune response to specific enzyme replacement therapies in an animal model, without the continued use of immunosuppressive drugs. BioMarin said the immune response induced by certain protein-based drugs can reduce the efficacy and safety of treatment.

• Biosite Inc., of San Diego, received FDA clearance to market the Triage BNP Test for Beckman Coulter Immunoassay Systems, a diagnostic test that measures B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP). Recently launched in Europe, the product will be manufactured by Beckman Coulter Inc., of Fullerton, Calif., and exclusively sold and marketed by Biosite.

• Hycor Biomedical Inc., of Garden Grove, Calif., signed an agreement with Stratagene Corp., of La Jolla, Calif., to extend the deadline for closing the proposed merger between the companies until Feb. 27. The merger was reported on July 24. All other terms of the merger agreement remain the same. The purpose of the extension is to permit Stratagene to complete the work required to restate its financial statements for the year ended Dec. 31, 2002, and to complete a review of its financial statements for the nine months ended Sept. 30.

• InSite Vision Inc., of Alameda, Calif., completed its previously reported sale of its ISV-403 ocular infection drug candidate to Bausch & Lomb, of Rochester, N.Y. InSite received an undisclosed cash payment and reimbursement of certain product development expenses and will receive a percentage of future ISV-403 product sales, among other terms related to an August 2002 licensing agreement related to the product.

• Maxim Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Diego, filed a shelf registration, which, when declared effective by the SEC, will allow the company to raise up to $75 million through the sale of various securities in one or more offerings. Specific terms and prices will be determined at the time of the offering. Maxim is a global biopharmaceutical company with a pipeline of therapeutic candidates for cancers and chronic liver diseases.

• Transkaryotic Therapies Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., entered an agreement with Orphan Australia for marketing and distribution of Replagal (agalsidase alfa) for the treatment of Fabry's disease in Australia and New Zealand. Orphan Australia will have exclusive marketing and distribution rights to Replagal for 15 years. In Australia, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee recommended Replagal be considered for funding under the Life Saving Drug Category, which is a step toward receiving government reimbursement, the company said. A final decision on Australian reimbursement approval is expected in the first half of 2004.

• Viragen Inc., of Plantation, Fla., received about $4.2 million in a sale of its common stock and warrants to a group of new and returning institutional investors. The company said it would use the proceeds to commercialize its lead drug, Multiferon, and further the research and development of its portfolio of health care technologies.

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