Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Diego, was awarded U.S. Patent No. 6,555,339 titled "Non-Endogenous, Constitutively Activated Human Protein Coupled Receptors." It covers one of Arena's methods of constitutively activating G protein-coupled receptors for drug screening.

Avant Immunotherapeutics Inc., of Needham, Mass., was granted U.S. Patent No. 6,555,113, broadening coverage on the use of its CETP vaccine technology for cholesterol management. Avant's CETi-1 investigational vaccine is designed to elicit antibodies that bind and inhibit the activity of CETP, blocking the protein's ability to transfer cholesterol from HDL to LDL and causing HDL levels to rise.

Biomira Inc., of Edmonton, Alberta, said its U.S. Patent No. 5,798,090 was reissued (re 38,046) with additional claims, expanding its coverage for therapeutic use of carbohydrate-based vaccines, as well as specific coverage for the use of carbohydrate vaccine formulations comprising such vaccines and adjuvants in cancer therapy.

Celgene Corp., of Warren, N.J., was issued U.S. Patent Nos. 6,561,976 and 6,561,977 covering managed distribution programs for products or drugs that either cause birth defects or have other adverse effects that require contraindication for certain patients. They expand the scope of coverage to include distribution programs that do not require the type of registrations described in the prior patents.

United Therapeutics Corp., of Silver Spring, Md., was granted two patents broadening protection for its lead drug, Remodulin. U.S. Patent No. 6,521,212 relates to the method of treating peripheral vascular disease through the administration of Remodulin by inhalation, and U.S. Patent No. 6,528,688 relates to an improved Remodulin manufacturing process.