• Aastrom Biosciences Inc., of Ann Arbor, Mich., entered an agreement with Stanford University, of Palo Alto, Calif., for a therapeutic approach to cancer therapy. The collaboration combines Aastrom's single-pass perfusion cell production technology with Stanford's Cytokine Induced Killer Cell technology to produce cells designed to trigger an immune system attack on a patient's tumor cells. A clinical study to evaluate the use of the cells in patients with Hodgkin's disease and other cancers will be conducted at the Stanford University Medical Center. Separately, Aastrom received notification from Nasdaq that it does not comply with the $1 minimum bid price requirement. Aastrom said it will file an appeal by Wednesday.

• Ariad Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., reported results of in vivo studies of AP23573, its lead cancer product in Phase I trials. AP23573 was effective in animal models of human solid tumors, showing that treatment initiated at an early stage of tumor growth induced persistent tumor regression of up to 90 percent, and treatment at a later, more-aggressive stage produced significant reductions in the rate of growth of all six tumor types studied - brain, prostate, breast, pancreas, lung and colon cancers. The research also demonstrated that the anticancer activity of three chemotherapy drugs was enhanced by combined treatment with AP23573, the company said.

• Bayer AG, of Leverkusen, Germany, received a positive FDA panel recommendation for its drug, Levitra (vardenafil). Bayer said the drug did not cause a heart side effect known as QT prolongation. The drug, an erectile dysfunction product, is expected to win FDA approval and compete with New York-based Pfizer Inc.'s Viagra. The product is partnered with GlaxoSmithKline plc, of London.

• Biopure Corp., of Cambridge, Mass., said the FDA gave notice that it would complete its review and act on the company's biologics license application for Hemopure (hemoglobin glutamer) by Aug. 29. Biopure applied to market Hemopure for acutely anemic patients undergoing orthopedic surgery and for the elimination or reduction of red blood cell transfusions.

• Cambridge Antibody Technology Group plc, of Cambridge, UK, said Abbott Laboratories, of Abbott Park, Ill, raised 2003 sales expectations for Humira to more than $250 million, up from more than $200 million. Abbott also said it had promising results in a Phase II Crohn's disease study for ABT-874 and is planning a Phase II study in multiple sclerosis in the first half of 2004. Both Humira and ABT-874 were isolated and optimized by CAT in collaboration with Abbott, CAT said.

• Capital Genomix Inc., of Chantilly, Va., established a new collaboration with the Blanchette Rockefeller Neurosciences Institute in Morgantown, W.Va., to establish a Microarray Core Service facility on the campus of Johns Hopkins University's Shady Grove campus in Gaithersburg, Md. Capital Genomix has two genomic and proteomic drug development technology platforms, and intends to couple those platforms for the development of specific antibodies against genetic sequences of biological significance into a unified, end-to-end gene discovery, functional analysis and target validation system, the company said.

• Cardiome Pharma Corp., of Vancouver, British Columbia, said Brian Rowe of the University of Alberta presented the company's Phase II data on the use of RSD1235 at the 2003 annual meeting of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine held in Boston. The data support the efficacy and safety of RSD1235 as an agent in the acute conversion of patients with atrial fibrillation. Cardiome originally announced the results in September.

• Celgene Corp., of Warren, N.J., said the initial unnamed purchaser of $325 million of its 1.75 percent convertible notes due in 2008, elected to exercise an option to purchase an additional $75 million principal amount. They are convertible into Celgene's common stock at $48.45 per share, a 50 percent premium to the May 28 closing price of $32.30. Separately, Celgene reported study results showing that patients on Ritalin LA (methylphenidate HCl) extended-release capsules experienced a nearly twofold improvement in attention and a more than threefold improvement in behavior compared to Concerta (methylphenidate HCl) extended-release tablets.

• CellExSys Inc., of Seattle, a subsidiary of Targeted Genetics Corp., presented data in support of the anticipated launch of its first Phase I trial in chronic hepatitis B. Results from a series of experiments to qualify CellExSys' manufacturing process were presented in a poster session at the annual meeting of the International Society for Cellular Therapy in Phoenix. CellExSys presented studies that qualified processes and procedures related to its Rapid Expansion Method technology for use in a proposed hepatitis B Phase I trial.

• Ciphergen Biosystems Inc., of Fremont, Calif., said it settled its lawsuit with LumiCyte Inc., also of Fremont, and Molecular Analytical Systems Inc. As a result, Ciphergen acquired exclusive rights granted to Molecular Analytical Systems under patents licensed from Baylor College of Medicine, and LumiCyte assigned all rights granted from Molecular Analytical Systems and related to the Baylor College of Medicine patents to Ciphergen without restriction. Ciphergen will pay about $3 million in cash and issue about 1.25 million shares of Ciphergen stock to LumiCyte and will provide royalty payments, based on revenues, of up to $10 million over a 10-year period to Molecular Analytical Systems.

• CytRx Corp., of Los Angeles, raised $5.44 million after completing a private placement of about 2.9 million common shares. The per-share price was equal to the 20-day moving average of stock in CytRx, which also issued warrants to purchase an additional 735,135 common shares at an exercise price of $3.05 apiece, the May 28 closing bid price. The company said it would use the proceeds to further its RNAi technology, initially focused on obesity, diabetes and oncology, along with its relationship with the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Amherst.

• DOR BioPharma Inc., of Lake Forest, Ill., reported the publication of a paper in Nature Biotechnology describing a point mutation of ricin toxin that eliminates vascular leak syndrome (VLS), one of the major toxicities of ricin toxin. VLS is a consequence of the ricin toxin binding to blood vessels, resulting in tissue damage and edema. DOR is developing a ricin vaccine based on the research as well as other research completed by its collaborators, and the study authors, in the Cancer Immunobiology Center at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.

• Echelon Biosciences Inc., of Salt Lake City, said it received a $600,000 research grant from the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., to accelerate its ability to evaluate specific cell-signaling pathways that are key initiators to a number of abnormal cell states. Echelon will rely on its expertise in lipid cell-signaling pathways that govern cell response, and said that those signal-transduction pathways control the cellular response that can lead to cancer, inflammation and diabetes.

• eXegenics Inc., of Dallas, said it received an unsolicited offer from EI Acquisition Inc. and Foundation Growth Investments LLC to acquire all of eXegenics' outstanding common stock and Series A convertible preferred stock for 40 cents each. eXegenics said it would evaluate the offer and advise stockholders of its response no later than June 12.

• Genaera Corp., of Plymouth Meeting, Pa., said it entered an agreement for researchers at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md., to conduct preclinical evaluations on two of its second-generation anti-angiogenic aminosterol compounds. The company said its goal is to identify an orally available candidate compound.

• GPN Network Inc., of Los Angeles, said it entered into a binding letter of intent to acquire ImmuneRegen BioSciences Inc., of Scottsdale, Ariz., in a stock-for-stock exchange. GPN plans to issue about 10.5 million common shares. The acquisition of ImmuneRegen, which is developing applications that use modified substance P, a naturally occurring immunomodulator, is expected to close by today. GPN's shares (OTCBB:GPNN) gained 4 cents Friday to close at 5 cents.

• ImClone Systems Inc., of New York, saw its stock surge about 21.5 percent Friday on positive efficacy news regarding its anticancer drug Erbitux (cetuximab). According to the Wall Street Journal, data from a trial of colon cancer patients pointed to the drug's promise as a cancer therapy. ImClone's European partner, Merck KgaA, of Darmstadt, Germany, was scheduled to present the data at this week's American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting in Chicago, though specific details had not been released last week. ImClone's shares (NASDAQ:IMCLE) gained $5.04 on the reports Friday to close at $28.50.

• Invitrogen Corp., of Carlsbad, Calif., named Gregory Lucier president and CEO. Lucier also was added to the board. Lucier previously was president and CEO of General Electric's Medical Systems Information Technologies. Invitrogen provides technologies to biotechnology and biopharmaceutical researchers and other companies.

• Isolagen Inc., of Houston, raised $4.4 million after completing a private offering of 155,750 shares of Series B convertible preferred stock at $28 apiece. Each 6 percent share of preferred stock is convertible into eight common shares at any time after issuance. Isolagen, whose autologous cellular technology is used in cosmetic dermatology, cosmetic surgery and periodontal disease, said it would use the funds to complete its production facilities in Australia. Fordham Financial Management Inc. managed the offering.

• Microbia Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., said it defined the network of genes that control the ability of fungal cells to invade and infect, and demonstrated the potential to block invasion with a class of small-molecule antifungal compounds called Anti-Invasins. The study is the first to demonstrate the potential for a new therapeutic approach to treating and preventing fungal infections by targeting the invasion process with small-molecule drugs, it said. The company reported the findings at the 15th Congress of the International Society of Human and Animal Mycology held in San Antonio.

• Orchid BioSciences Inc., of Princeton, N.J., implemented a strategic realignment of its Orchid GeneShield unit. Orchid GeneShield applies pharmacogenetic tools to develop personalized medicine services designed to allow individuals and physicians to reduce the risk of adverse effects from medications. The realignment is expected to enable Orchid GeneShield to launch and pilot test certain programs and reduce operating costs. Orchid reduced staffing by an undisclosed amount and is consolidating activities in its Orchid GeneShield business, it said. Separately, Genetic Technologies Ltd., of Melbourne, Australia, signed an agreement with Orchid to cross-license certain technologies. Orchid granted Genetic Technologies exclusive licenses to Orchid's SNP panels for paternity and forensic DNA testing services for Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia. Genetic Technologies also receives an exclusive license to market, distribute and sell Orchid's Elucigene range of diagnostic kits for genetic testing in those territories, as well as a nonexclusive license in the field of diagnostics to certain primer extension patents held by Orchid. Orchid receives an option to license Genetic Technologies' noncoding patents for SNP analysis, as well as clearance for past business activities that may have been covered by those patents. Orchid would receive royalties on revenues that Genetic Technologies generates from Orchid's SNP-based technologies, once certain revenue thresholds are achieved.

• PTC Therapeutics Inc., of South Plainfield, N.J., was awarded a Phase II Small Business Technology Transfer grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a unit of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. The award, the amount of which was unspecified, is designed to enable PTC to develop a virus-cell-based assay using HIV-1 vector systems for the discovery of drugs with anti-HIV activity.

• St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., said a team of its investigators challenged a currently held belief on how immune system cells called macrophages control their biochemical activity after being stimulated by signaling proteins called cytokines. They said they showed that a molecular "brake pedal" called SOCS3 slows the biochemical activity of macrophages only if they have been stimulated by a particular cytokine, interleukin-6. Also, the hospital said the finding adds to the understanding of how a signaling pathway called JAK/STAT operates in macrophages and other immune system cells.