Antex Biologics Inc., of Gaithersburg, Md., said its wholly owned subsidiary, Antex Pharma Inc., received from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office a notice of allowance for claims covering the benzazepine family of compounds, including claims for composition of matter and the methods of using the compounds as antibiotics and for other therapeutic applications. Preclinical studies have shown that members of the benzazepine family have selective narrow spectrum activity, specifically targeting Helicobacter pylori.

Copernicus Therapeutics Inc., of Cleveland, was issued US Patent No. 6,506,890 titled "Method of Nucleic Acid Compaction." Copernicus said the highly reproducible method of formulating nonviral expression vectors results in stable compacted DNA nanoparticles that can be concentrated and stored for long periods of time.

Discovery Genomics Inc., of Minneapolis, said the University of Minnesota was issued a U.S. patent for a synthetic DNA that permits gene therapy without injecting viruses that may pose significant risks to humans. The Sleeping Beauty Transposon System is licensed exclusively to Discovery Genomics.

D-Pharm Ltd., of Rehovot, Israel, was granted U.S. Patent No. 6,458,837 titled "Lipophilic Diesters of Chelating Agents." D-Pharm said the patent provides wide and strong protection for its membrane active chelator technology and includes claims for new chemical entities, their pharmaceutical compositions and use in treating diseases related to an excess or imbalances of divalent metal ions.

DrugAbuse Sciences Inc., of Hayward, Calif., was awarded U.S. Patent No. 6,495,155 covering its extended-release, injectable technology for administering buprenorphine and other full or partial opioid agonists. The company said it plans to use the process to develop a once-monthly administered treatment for heroin abuse.

Dynavax Technologies Corp., of Berkeley, Calif., and the Regents of the University of California said the university was granted U.S. Patent No. 6,498,148 B1, covering the use of Dynavax's ISS (immunostimulatory DNA sequences) alone to treat asthma. Privately held Dynavax is the exclusive licensee of the patent.

EvoGenix Pty. Ltd., of Sydney, Australia, said it received a U.S. patent covering its EvoGene technology platform, designed to generate and identify proteins with properties tuned for their required task. Such optimized proteins may be used as drugs, diagnostics or in industrial or agricultural processes.

Geron Corp., of Menlo Park, Calif., was issued U.S. Patent No. 6,506,574 covering the use of hepatocytes derived from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) for drug screening. Geron noted that the issuance is its second U.S. patent covering hESC-derived hepatocytes.

Kaleidos Pharma Inc., of Seattle, was issued U.S. Patent No. 6,486,122 covering the use of certain cytokines, including TGF alpha, in treating chronic wasting disease associated with cancer, AIDS and other diseases.

Pozen Inc., of Chapel Hill, N.C., received U.S. Patent No. 6,495,535 providing protection for MT 300 through claims relating to therapeutic packages containing a high-potency formulation of dihydroergotamine (DHE) in a pre-filled syringe. Pozen said it has patent applications pending worldwide for MT 300, designed to provide long-lasting migraine relief.

Signase Inc., of Houston, and Tripos Inc., of St. Louis, were awarded a joint inventorship patent, U.S. Patent No. 6,503,914, titled "Thienopyrimidine-based inhibitors of the Src family." As a joint patent, the resulting compound is licensed exclusively to Signase, while Tripos will receive royalties based on revenues received from the compound.

StemCells Inc., of Palo Alto, Calif., was granted U.S. Patent No. 6,497,872 with broad claims covering the transplantation of mammalian tissue-derived neural stem cells and their progeny into the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system including the spinal cord.