• Accelrys Inc., of San Diego, a wholly owned subsidiary of Pharmacopeia Inc., of Princeton, N.J., entered an agreement with the Oracle PartnerNetwork to embed Oracle technology into its Discovery Studio family of products. More specifically, Accelrys will embed Oracle Database and associated software in Discovery Studio Project Knowledge Manager Plus, the core component of Accelrys' Discovery Studio knowledge-centric system. Accelrys will resell the Oracle Database and will facilitate the integration of Oracle for all Discovery Studio-related data management needs, for both individuals' workstation and at the enterprise level.

• Adventrx Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Diego, said it accelerated internal development efforts for Thiovir, a preclinical non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor for HIV/AIDS. Thiovir is an oral prodrug for foscarnet, an FDA-approved intravenous treatment for HIV and HIV-related opportunistic infections caused by cytomegalovirus and herpes simplex virus. The company said it believes HAART therapy will continue to play an important role in the control of HIV infection, and that Thiovir can improve HAART therapy by reducing viral resistance.

• Affymetrix Inc., of Santa Clara, Calif., launched its new GeneChip brand AutoLoader for the GeneChip Scanner 30000, a 48-array carousel that automatically loads and unloads arrays. The GeneChip AutoLoader can scan 48 current catalogue arrays in 4.5 hours or less, depending on the array format of the experiments run.

• Avant Immunotherapeutics Inc., of Needham, Mass., reinstated development plans for its complement inhibitor, TP10. Avant plans to conduct a Phase II, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial in about 200 women undergoing cardiopulmonary bypass surgery. The trial is being planned to begin by year's end. The trial would examine the effect of 5-mg/kg TP10 vs. placebo, with about an equal number of patients receiving placebo as TP10. The study is planned to begin around year-end and conclude around year-end 2004.

• AVI BioPharma Inc., of Portland, Ore., filed to sell, from time to time, up to $75 million in common stock, preferred stock and warrants. It said it planned to use proceeds for research and development and general corporate purposes, as well as for commercializing products or acquiring or investing in businesses, products and technologies complementary to its own. It is developing its Neugene technology in several areas, including cancer and infectious diseases.

• Boston Life Sciences Inc., of Boston, said it has regretfully accepted the resignation of its president and CEO, Robert Rosenthal. It intends to appoint another senior level executive to replace him and will launch an industry-wide search, it said. Boston Life Sciences focuses on therapeutic and diagnostic solutions for central nervous system diseases and cancer. The company's stock (NASDAQ:BLSI) fell 25 cents Tuesday, or 12.6 percent, to close at $1.74.

• Cel-Sci Corp., of Vienna, Va., published numerous animal challenge studies with herpes simplex virus in the current issue of Vaccine. The publication shows statistically significant protection data in multiple strains of mice, the company said, and also shows protection data using two different routes of challenge. In addition, the publication shows that different presentations of the herpes epitope using the company's L.E.A.P.S. technology can result in different immune responses, humoral or cellular. The company's stock (AMEX:CVM) rose 27 cents Tuesday, or 33.3 percent, to close at $1.08.

• Chromos Molecular Systems Inc., of Burnaby, British Columbia, and Xencor Inc., of Monrovia, Calif., entered a nonexclusive research license agreement to develop cell lines that express Xencor's monoclonal antibodies and other recombinant protein product candidates. Xencor will use the ACE System platform to generate cell lines expressing proteins derived from its Protein Design Automation technology. Xencor also receives an option to negotiate a commercial license for manufacturing its clinical products. Chromos will receive an up-front payment and annual maintenance fees. Additional financial details were not disclosed.

• Copernicus Therapeutics Inc., of Cleveland, and Case Western Reserve University, also of Cleveland, have published a manuscript in the Journal of Biological Chemistry showing that compacted DNA nanoparticles can transfect non-dividing human cells. The achievement removes a barrier to effective nonviral gene therapy, permitting gene transfer results following direct in vivo dosing of animals and humans, said Copernicus, which focuses on targeting and delivery systems with applications in human therapeutics and vaccines.

• Cytochroma Inc., of Markham, Ontario, selected CTA018 as a drug candidate for the treatment of mild to moderate psoriasis, with a goal of filing an investigational new drug application with the FDA late next year. CTA018 is an inhibitor of CYP24 and an activator of the vitamin D signaling pathway, the company said.

• DSM Biologics, of Groningen, the Netherlands, will continue an alliance in feed enzymes between Roche Vitamins & Fine Chemicals (R-V&FC) and Novozymes A/S, of Bagsvaerd, Denmark, after DSM acquires R-V&FC, Novozymes said. DSM/R-V&FC would contribute global marketing and sales coverage, as well as experience in animal feed. Novozymes provides biotech, production and formulation background and a diversity of enzymes with potential application in animal feed.

• Emisphere Technologies Inc., of Tarrytown, N.Y., said that results of a Phase IIa study conducted by Novartis Pharma AG, of Basel, Switzerland, evaluating the performance of an oral tablet formulation of the peptide, salmon calcitonin, were presented at the 25th annual meeting of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research by Novartis. The study, which involved 278 post-menopausal women, demonstrated activity on bone markers over a three-month dosing period when the peptide was delivered in combination with the Emisphere delivery agent.

• Eximias Pharmaceutical Corp., of Berwyn, Pa., presented data on the safety of Thymitaq in its pivotal Phase III ETHECC (evaluation of Thymitaq in hepatocellular carcinoma) trial at the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases conference on hepatocellular cancer in Atlanta. Eximias presented data supporting the improved safety profile of the drug in the ETHECC trial, compared with the overall safety in the Phase II program and in the liver cancer studies. As a result of intensified management of potential toxicities, the safety of Thymitaq in the study was improved, it said.

• Gene Logic Inc., of Gaithersburg, Md., said it expects 2003 revenues to be in the range of $72 million to $76 million on a pro forma basis, lower than previously announced. Actual revenue for 2003 is expected to be in the range of $65 million to $69 million. The company blamed the revision on "continued soft spending in pharmaceutical research" and "unexpected delays in biotechnology company and government projects" for the company's contract study services "due to continued weak capital markets and other factors affecting life science research." Gene Logic is a contract service provider. The company's stock (NASDAQ:GLGC) fell 64 cents Tuesday, or 10.1 percent, to close at $5.70.

• Geron Corp., of Menlo Park, Calif., presented at the UBS Warburg Global Life Sciences conference after market's close Monday, detailing its work in oncology. It presented on its telomerase-based cancer therapies, including its telomerase inhibitor drugs GRN163 and GRN719, and reported on progress with its therapeutic vaccine trial at Duke University in Durham, N.C. Geron also reviewed its oncolytic virus program. The company CEO said results show the Phase I/II vaccine cancer trial hit key goals, although full results aren't expected until near the end of the year. The company's stock (NASDAQ:GERN) rose $5.23 Tuesday, or 54.7 percent, to close at $14.80.

• Guilford Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Baltimore, said grants totaling about $5.7 million have been awarded for research and development of the company's technologies. Those include a $5.5 million award by the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., to support a four-year Program Project grant at the Johns Hopkins University Department of Neurology to study applications of Guilford's neuroimmunophilin ligand technology, and about $200,000 in research funding to support preclinical development of the company's NAALADase and PARP inhibitor technologies. Also, Guilford said it was separately awarded a $140,000 Phase I Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Cancer Institute, a part of the NIH, to fund research in prostate cancer. The grant will be aimed at evaluating the feasibility of using a NAALADase inhibitor to provide targeted prostate cancer chemotherapy.

• Immusol Inc., of San Diego, said it achieved a significant milestone in its collaboration with Novartis Pharma AG, of Basel, Switzerland. The agreement centered on Immusol discovering and offering to Novartis a specified number of genes involved in oncogenesis. The original deal was signed in the fall of 2001 and included the option for Novartis to end the agreement after two years if the milestone had not been achieved. Novartis' decision to continue the collaboration resulted in an equity payment of $10 million to Immusol. The original deal had a total value of more than $150 million. (See BioWorld Today, Oct. 2, 2001.)

• InSite Vision Inc., of Alameda, Calif., obtained the first $500,000 tranche of up to a potential total of $1 million in interim financing from a private investment fund. J.P. Turner & Co. LLC served as financial representative. The interim financing was raised through the assumption of redeemable debentures. Proceeds will be used to fund InSite's general working capital requirements while it pursues a licensing agreement and/or additional financing. The company's focus includes glaucoma and it conducts genomic research using TIGR and other genes.

The J. Craig Venter Science Foundation in Rockville, Md., said a $500,000 Genomic Technology Prize will be awarded one time only to an individual or group of researchers whose technology significantly enhances the field of high-throughput DNA sequencing by enabling a human genome to be sequenced for $1,000 or less. The prize was announced during the New Frontiers in Sequencing Technology session at the 15th annual Genome Sequencing and Analysis Conference in Savannah, Ga. Complete rules and procedures will be announced in late December.

• Kosan Biosciences Inc., of Hayward, Calif., reported results of a second Phase I trial of KOS-862 (epothilone D) at the ECCO 12 European Cancer Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. The company also confirmed plans to begin Phase II monotherapy studies of the compound by the end of this year. KOS-862 is a polyketide that inhibits cancer cells by the same mechanism as paclitaxel, and is effective against paclitaxel-resistant tumors in preclinical models, the company said. The study concluded that a dose of KOS-862 given weekly three out of four weeks was well tolerated and was associated with only mild to moderate toxicity.

• Large Scale Biology Corp., of Germantown, Md., was awarded a grant by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism for research leading to the discovery of biomarkers for alcohol-related diseases. Discovery of such biomarkers is expected to impact early diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of alcoholic diseases. The study is expected to generate a database of changes in protein expression from different areas of the brain as induced by alcohol-related phenomena. LSBC's ProGEx protein expression technology will separate, quantify and identify proteins exhibiting significant correlations.

• Light Sciences Corp., of Seattle, said Meiji Seika, the licensor of LS11 (Laserphyrin in Japan), received a recommendation for approval by the Pharmaceutical Affairs and Food Sanitation Council of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare in Japan. The approval will be granted for the photodynamic treatment of early endobronchial carcinoma. Light Sciences has completed a Phase I/II study of its lead combination product, Litx, in patients with advanced-stage solid cancers, and a component of the Litx System is the light-activated LS11 drug. Light Sciences licensed LS11 from Nippon Petrochemicals and Meiji Seika Kaisha in early 2000 and has exclusive rights to develop, produce and commercialize the compound for use in photodynamic therapy in multiple therapeutic applications worldwide, except for Japan.

• MDS Pharma Services, a unit of MDS Inc., of Montreal, and Iconix Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Mountain View, Calif., introduced Pharmotif Solutions, a chemogenomics profiling service for evaluating novel drug candidates. Pharmotif profiling reports are based on the analysis of compounds against Iconix's library of Drug Signatures, a collection of predictive biomarkers comprised of genes and protein targets associated with toxicities and pharmacological effects.

• Medicure Inc., of Winnipeg, Manitoba, a cardiovascular drug discovery and development company, said results from its Phase II trial of the cardioprotective effects of MC-1, called MEND-1, were published in the current issue of the American Journal of Cardiology. The trial was a randomized, placebo-controlled, blinded study, which evaluated the extent of damage to the heart muscle caused by ischemia and ischemic reperfusion injury in 60 high-risk cardiovascular patients undergoing angioplasty and who were at increased risk for cardiac damage. Treatment with MC-1 significantly reduced the release of CK-MB following angioplasty.

• Metabasis Therapeutics Inc., of San Diego, began clinical testing of MB7133, a liver-specific prodrug of the cancer drug cytarabine. The trial is being conducted at two sites, one in the U.S. and one in Hong Kong. MB7133 will be administered by continuous infusion to patients with inoperable primary liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma or HCC. MB7133 was developed using Metabasis' HepDirect technology, a prodrug technology that targets production of the biologically active form of the drug, specifically to the liver.

• Nastech Pharmaceutical Co. Inc., of Bothell, Wash., said it began a Phase I trial at Hammersmith Hospital in London to evaluate the intranasal administration of peptide YY3-36 in the treatment of obesity. The objective of the dose ranging study is to determine the nasal absorption and safety of PYY in healthy male and female volunteers. PYY is a hormone naturally produced in the gut in relation to the calorie content of a meal.

• NicOx SA, of Sophia Antipolis, France, reacquired full rights to the class of anti-inflammatory and analgesic compounds, CINODs, from AstraZeneca plc, of London, including the two lead compounds in the class, AZD 3582 and AZD 4717. NicOx will now seek partners for development of the CINOD class, which has been in Phase II work. NicOx's reacquisition follows AstraZeneca's decision not to advance AZD 3582 into Phase III trials, although NicOx said AstraZeneca saw "very good safety and efficacy endpoints" in earlier studies.

• Nymox Pharmaceutical Corp., of Maywood, N.J., said newly discovered molecules represent a breakthrough in its quest for Alzheimer's therapeutics. Nymox scientists said spherotoxin have been linked by new lines of evidence to some of the major underlying brain cell death in Alzheimer's disease. The findings are significant to Nymox's drug development programs for Alzheimer's therapeutics, it said.

• Oncolytics Biotech Inc., of Calgary, Alberta, reported the publication of a research paper in the Sept. 1, 2003, issue of Cancer Research titled "Ras-dependent Oncolysis with an Adenovirus VAI Mutant." Researchers were able to shown that VAI mutant adenoviruses selectively replicated in and killed pancreatic cancer cells with a Ras-activated pathway.

• Peplin Biotech Ltd., of Brisbane, Australia, appointed Michael Aldridge as CEO and managing director of the company effective mid-October. He succeeds Garry Redlich, who led the company since 1999 and will continue in a business development role. Since his return to Australia from New York in mid-2002, Aldridge developed a biotechnology investment banking business with Wilson HTM. Prior to that, he was associate director with Bear, Stearns & Co. Healthcare Investment Banking Group in New York, focused on the U.S. and European biotechnology and small-cap pharmaceutical industry. Peplin is working to discover and develop drugs for cancer and other diseases.

• Perlegen Sciences Inc., of Mountain View, Calif., expanded its research collaboration with Eli Lilly and Co., of Indianapolis, in which Perlegen will use its technology to genotype Perlegen-identified single nucleotide polymorphisms in clinical samples to identify genetic markers for Lilly. Lilly will increase its research funding to support the expanded work, in addition to the undisclosed milestone payments and royalties that were part of the original collaboration. Other financial terms were not disclosed.

• Pharmacyclics Inc., of Sunnyvale, Calif., reported the publication of data from its Phase I trial of Antrin (motexafin lutetium) Phototherapy, a treatment for atherosclerotic plaque, in a recent edition of Circulation, the journal of the American Heart Association. The open-label, multicenter, dose-escalation study assessed the safety and tolerability of Antrin plus phototherapy in patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention with stent deployment. Antrin was found to be well tolerated without serious dose-limiting toxicities. The optimum dosing regimen was found based on evaluation of the treated segment by angiography and intravascular ultrasound.

• PrecisionMed Inc., of San Diego, released a new PrecisionMed Sample Bank collection in late-onset Alzheimer's disease for genetics, proteomics and molecular diagnostics research. In the new collection, PrecisionMed is compiling cognition data including the following rating scales Clinical Dementia Rating, Mini Mental Status Exam and the ADAS-Cog as, well as detailed demographic information.

• Proneuron Biotechnologies Inc., of Los Angeles, said it is enrolling patients in a Phase II trial of ProCord, an autologous-activated macrophage therapy for treating acute complete spinal cord injury within 14 days of damage. Initially, treatment will be provided at Sheba Medical Center in Israel, the first of five locations to host the study, three of which will be in the U.S. The Phase II study will include 61 patients between the ages of 16 and 65. Controlled assessments will be made at six and 12 months.

• Scios Inc., of Fremont, Calif., reported results at the 7th annual scientific meeting of the Heart Failure Society of America in Las Vegas from its Follow Up Serial Infusions Of Natrecor (FUSION I) pilot trial designed to evaluate weekly infusions of Natrecor (nesiritide) when administered in an outpatient setting to patients with advanced chronic congestive heart failure (CHF) who are at high risk for hospitalization. Data from the FUSION I study suggest that the Natrecor-treated patients showed improvements in clinical status with longer life expectancy and a lower frequency of hospitalizations, compared with the group of patients receiving standard care. Based on data generated from FUSION I, Scios will seek to initiate a larger study designed to assess the efficacy of serial outpatient infusions of Natrecor for several months to reduce death and hospitalizations in patients with advanced chronic CHF who are at high risk for hospitalization.

• Structural GenomiX Inc., of San Diego, expanded its two-year collaboration with Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc., a division of Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH, of Ingelheim, Germany, focused on leveraging structure to accelerate lead optimization on drug discovery targets, to now allow Boehringer to use the SGX synchrotron beamline facility (SGX-CAT) in support of additional drug discovery programs. SGX-CAT is located at the Advanced Photon Source at the Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory in Argonne, Ill. Structural will generate crystal structure data on Boehringer drug targets and compounds to enable Boehringer to integrate co-crystal structural information into its drug discovery process. Financial terms were not disclosed.

• Tranzyme Inc., of Research Triangle Park, N.C., a drug discovery and development company focused on diseases of the neurosensory system, received funding of about $150,000 from the North Carolina Biotechnology Center. The center's Small Business Research Award Program supports research leading to the development or refinement of a product or process with large commercial potential. Tranzyme will use the funds from the program to accelerate applications of its gene delivery technology in the area of gene silencing. As reported earlier this year, Tranzyme partners that development area with Benitec Ltd., of Queensland, Australia.

• Tripos Inc., of St. Louis, launched an initiative to support identification of drug candidates by emerging biotechnology companies, called its "Hits-to-Leads" program. Biotechnology companies will apply for an award of Tripos' products and services that offer an approach to lead identification. Winning applicants, one from Europe, the Middle East or Africa and one from North America or Australasia, will receive LeadScreen, a one-year license for SARNavigator and, following screening, a customized data analysis report. Applications for the award will be accepted until Nov. 17.

• Unigene Laboratories Inc., of Fairfield, N.J., granted an exclusive license in Greece for its nasal calcitonin osteoporosis product to Faran Laboratories SA, of Athens, Greece. Unigene will sell the finished product to Faran, which will promote and market it in the country after Unigene obtains European regulatory approval and local pricing approval. Unigene will receive an up-front payment and is eligible to receive milestone payments prior to product launch. Faran will pay Unigene a fixed price for each unit of product received.

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