A.P. Pharma Inc., of Redwood City, Calif., said it received a notice of allowance extending patent coverage to 2021 for the use of its Microsponge delivery system in its formulation containing 5-fluorouracil. The company receives royalties on the formulation for the life of the patents from Dermik Laboratories Inc., a unit of Aventis, on U.S. sales of Carac.

Acusphere Inc., of Watertown, Mass., was issued U.S. Patent No. 6,610,317 titled "Porous Paclitaxel Matrices and Methods of Manufacture Thereof," which claims compositions of porous matrices containing taxanes with improved dissolution rates and the methods of producing such porous matrices.

Advanced Life Sciences, of Woodbridge, Ill., was granted U.S. Patent No. 6,605,596 for a new class of indolocarbazole compounds. The lead molecule of this class, ALS-423, has been shown to be effective against a variety of human tumor cell lines in blocking the enzyme topoisomerase I.

Althea Technologies Inc., of San Diego, was granted U.S. Patent No. 6,618,679 titled "Methods for Analysis of Gene Expression," covering its eXpress Profiling technology for high-throughput gene expression analysis.

Altus Biologics Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., was awarded three U.S. patents: No. 6,359,118 was issued for the invention "Carbohydrate cross-linked glycoprotein crystals," No. 6,500,933 was issued for the invention, "Methods of preparing carbohydrate cross-linked glycoprotein crystals," and No. 6,541,606 was issued for the invention, "Stabilized protein crystals, formulations containing them, and methods of making them."

Celgene Corp., of Warren, N.J., was issued U.S. Patent No. 6,610,523, covering polypeptides of mitogen-activated protein kinase kinases that are involved in the c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) pathways. The company also received U.S. Patent No. 6,610,505, which claims screening and developing novel small molecule therapies to modulate the JNK signaling pathway via JNK protein and cell screening that measure T-lymphocytes activity.

Cellegy Pharmaceuticals Inc., of South San Francisco, was issued U.S. Patent No. 6,610,652 titled "Microdose Therapy," delineating methods of treating urogenital disorders in females, using a nitric oxide donor or a phosphodiesterase inhibitor.

ChemNavigator Inc., of San Diego, received a notice of allowance for its patent application titled "Methods for Identifying a Molecule That May Bind to a Target Molecule," covering methods of use of its 3-DPL Map Virtual Screening technology for drug discovery.

Critical Therapeutics Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., received U.S. Patent No. 6,610,713 titled "Inhibition of Inflammatory Cytokine Production by Cholinergic Agonists and Vagus Nerve Stimulation," covering therapies designed to control destructive inflammatory processes by regulating a key reflex pathway between the central nervous system and the major organs.

Curis Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., was issued U.S. Patent No. 6,613,798 titled "Mediators of Hedgehog Signaling Pathways, Compositions, and Uses Related Thereto," covering pharmaceutical compositions of small molecules under development at the company for Parkinson's disease, stroke and other neurological disorders.

Diversa Corp., of San Diego, received U.S. Patent No. 6,610,528, directed to methods for selectively collecting microorganisms from aqueous, terrestrial, and other environments. The company is working to discover product candidates using technologies including genomic methods for accessing microbial DNA, high-throughput microbial culturing, and robotic systems capable of screening a billion genes per day.