Adherex Technologies Inc., of Ottawa, Ontario, was issued U.S. Patent No. 6,610,821, providing specific protection for the activity of Adherex compounds on endothelial cells.

Amicus Therapeutics Inc., of New Brunswick, N.J., received U.S. Patent No. 6,599,919 for its method of restoring normal function to mutant proteins with therapeutic pharmacological chaperones. It consolidates the areas of coverage provided by the company's existing patent portfolio, which includes claims directed to treating both mutant and non-mutant enzymes, as well as broad intellectual property related to treating all lysosomal storage diseases.

BioVex Ltd., of Oxford, UK, received a notice of allowance for a patent related to the use of herpes simplex virus as a platform for antigen delivery for vaccine purposes, covering both direct in vivo and ex vivo applications of the technology. It specifically relates to modified versions of the virus that allow antigen delivery to dendritic cells combined with dendritic cell activation.

Draximage Inc., of Mississauga, Ontario, the radiopharmaceutical subsidiary of Draxis Health Inc., was granted U.S. Patent No. 6,623,721, describing the synthesis and application of a new family of molecules known as high affinity bifunctional chelators containing hydroxamic acid residues. The compounds have the potential to be developed as imaging and radiotherapeutic agents to diagnose and treat diseases, Draximage said.

Hybridon Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., was issued U.S. Patent No. 6,624,293 titled "Modified Protein Kinase A-Specific Oligonucleotides and Methods of Their Use," claiming second-generation antisense oligonucleotides targeting the RI alpha regulatory subunit of protein kinase A.

Incara Pharmaceuticals Corp., of Research Triangle Park, N.C., was granted U.S. Patent No. 6,583,132 titled "Oxidant Scavengers," describing a method of treating diseases resulting from degradation of nitric oxide and accumulation of peroxynitrite by administration of a catalytic antioxidant compound. A prominent theory of Lou Gehrig's disease is that accumulation of peroxynitrite plays a causative role in the destruction of motor neurons, Incara said.

Mirus Corp., of Madison, Wis., was awarded U.S. Patent No. 6,627,616, covering bloodstream-mediated delivery of DNA and RNA to target tissues in mammals.

Repligen Corp., of Waltham, Mass., received a notice of allowance for a patent covering the use of CTLA4-Ig for rheumatoid arthritis. The patent, which will remain in force until 2020, also covers a method of treating multiple sclerosis, systemic lupus erythematosis and scleroderma with CTLA4-Ig and the use of CTLA4-Ig in combination with other immunosuppressants. Repligen owns the exclusive rights to the patent through a license agreement with The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and through a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with the U.S. Navy. It is independent from patents on CTLA4-Ig that are the subject of a lawsuit brought by Repligen and the university against Bristol-Myers Squibb Corp., of New York.

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