• Ambion Inc., of Austin, Texas, launched two small interfering RNA (siRNA) libraries. The first library targets 597 human kinases and the second targets 441 human G protein-coupled receptors. The kinase siRNA library includes one or more functionally validated siRNAs targeting 231 kinases. Proteins from the kinase and GPCR gene families represent more than one-third of all targets for existing pharmaceuticals on the market, Ambion said.

• Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Diego, filed a $300 million mixed-shelf registration statement with the SEC. Upon being declared effective, the registration statement will allow the company to sell various securities, such as common and preferred stock, debt and warrants, in one or more offerings in the future. Amylin said it would use any proceeds for research and development related to its exenatide program; the planned commercialization of Symlin pending regulatory approvals; potential licenses and acquisitions of complementary products, technologies or businesses; and general corporate purposes.

• Apogent Technologies Inc., of Portsmouth, N.H., priced $300 million worth of its floating-rate senior convertible debt securities due 2033 in a previously announced private offering. The company also granted the initial purchasers an option to purchase up to an additional $45 million worth of such securities. Apogent, which develops consumable products for clinical and research markets, said it would use about $70 million to repurchase 3 million common shares, while applying the remainder to pay down a portion of debt and for general corporate purposes.

• BioMS Medical Corp., of Edmonton, Alberta, said it intends to file its clinical trial application in Canada for approval to commence a Phase III study with its lead product, MBP8298, for the treatment of secondary progressive multiple sclerosis. The drug is a synthetic peptide containing MBP amino acids 85 to 96 and is believed to clean up B-cell antibodies and down-regulate B-cell antibody production by inducing a positive immune response. In MS patients, a relapse is associated with elevated levels of B-cell antibodies.

• Elan Corp. plc, of Dublin, Ireland, said it is retaining its NanoSystems drug delivery business based in King of Prussia, Pa., as well as its drug delivery business and operations located in Gainesville, Ga. The company also plans to hold onto its U.S. acute care business, which includes its Maxipime and Azactam hospital care products. Elan, which said it is entering the final stages of its recovery plan, said the businesses would generate value and provide opportunities for revenue growth and key technological capabilities. Separately, Elan said it is seeking binding arbitration in connection with a dispute regarding an agreement with Pfizer Inc., of New York, related to the discovery of small-molecule inhibitors of beta secretase for Alzheimer's disease. Elan said it terminated the agreement, which it originally entered with Pharmacia Corp. in August 2000, as a result of certain breaches by Pfizer. As a result of the termination, Elan believes that it holds the exclusive worldwide license to the intellectual property developed in connection with the research-stage program.

• Genmab A/S, of Copenhagen, Denmark, said its psoriasis drug, HuMax-CD4, failed to achieve statistically significant results in a 118-patient Phase IIb study. Analysis of the data showed the drug was safe and well tolerated in the studies to date, and there was a statistically significant dose dependent depletion of CD4+ T cells. Genmab has no further plans to develop HuMax-CD4 for psoriasis, but is continuing its two Phase II studies in cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, having reported positive interim data. The drug is described as a high-affinity human antibody that targets the CD4 receptor on T lymphocytes.

• Genzyme Corp., of Cambridge, Mass., began a Phase I trial with Genz-29155, a small molecule for treating multiple sclerosis. The trial will initially involve up to 56 healthy volunteers who will receive the drug in escalating doses. It will be followed in the second half of 2004 by a multidose Phase I study. If Phase I development is successful, the company plans to start a Phase II trial in patients with the relapsing-remitting form of MS in the second half of 2005. The drug has shown an ability in vitro to inhibit some, but not all, of the activities of tumor necrosis factor, Genzyme said.

• MedImmune Inc., of Gaithersburg, Md., will have its newly approved FluMist nasal spray flu vaccine covered by various insurance companies in response to shortages of injectable flu vaccines. Firms recently announcing coverage include Aetna, AmeriHealth, Blue Cross, BCBSNC and Cigna.

• Onyx Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Richmond, Calif., filed a $150 million shelf registration statement with the SEC. Upon being declared effective, the registration statement will allow the company to sell common stock securities in one or more future offerings. Onyx said it would use any proceeds for research and development and general corporate purposes, as well as to acquire or invest in complementary businesses, products and technologies.

• Phase III Medical Inc., of Melville, N.Y., signed a royalty agreement with Parallel Solutions Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., to use its polymer system to develop a new bioshielding platform technology for delivery of therapeutic proteins and small-molecule drugs in order to extend circulating half-life, thus improving bioavailability and dosing regimen, while also maintaining or improving pharmacologic activity. The deal calls for PSI to pay Phase III a percentage of the revenue received from the sale of certain specified products or licensing activity, but exact terms were not disclosed.

• Protein Polymer Technologies Inc., of San Diego, said it expects to receive about $1.2 million in research and development payments under a revised agreement with Spine Wave Inc., a private company formed by Protein Polymer and Windamere Venture Partners to develop an injectable protein-based formulation for the repair of spinal discs. Protein Polymer will continue product-characterization studies and preparations for the supply of product to be used in clinical trials following regulatory approvals. During subsequent development, Protein Polymer's contractual responsibilities included the supply of clinical product and preparation for commercial manufacturing operations. Spine Wave is responsible for clinical testing, regulatory approvals and commercialization.

• Sidec Technologies AB, of Stockholm, Sweden, entered a joint collaboration with the Center for Biophysical Sciences and Engineering at the University of Alabama at Birmingham to offer a solution for structure-based drug design. The co-marketing agreement provides for them to offer combined research services, pairing the center's structure-based drug discovery experience with Sidec's methods to define the structure-function relationships of membrane protein targets, as well as biotherapeutic molecules.