Affymetrix Inc., of Santa Clara, Calif., and the Whitehead Institute/MIT Center for Genome Research in Cambridge, Mass., entered a research collaboration to use Affymetrix GeneChip technology to conduct cancer clinical studies. The collaboration is designed to standardize experimental procedures and further validate numerous studies demonstrating the power of expression data for cancer classification. The company said standardization will ensure that expression array data generated from various laboratories will be comparable across multiple clinical sites and studies.
AnorMED Inc., of Vancouver, British Columbia, said it was notified by its licensee, Shire Pharmaceuticals Group plc, of Andover, UK, that the first European approval of Fosrenol, a phosphate binder treatment for end-stage renal disease patients, is not likely to be granted during 2002. Shire said it continues to plan for a European launch in 2003, subject to regulatory approval.
Apovia AG, of Martinsried, Germany, and its wholly owned subsidiary, Apovia Inc., initiated the first Phase I trial of the candidate malaria vaccine, MalariVax. The trial will evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of MalariVax. MalariVax is based on Apovia's CorVax technology, an antigen delivery and carrier platform designed to stimulate high levels of antibody production and prime cellular immunity.
Applied Molecular Evolution Inc., of San Diego, granted NascaCell GmbH, of Tutzing, Germany, a nonexclusive, worldwide license to AME's Kauffman patents for directed molecular evolution. NascaCell will use the licensed technology to generate aptamers. Financial terms were not disclosed. The Kauffman patent family comprises six issued U.S. patents and foreign counterparts with claims covering methods of stochastically generating proteins and polynucleotides, which AME believes is required by many directed evolution technologies.
Cellzome AG, of Heidelberg, Germany, named David Brown president and CEO. Brown succeeds Charles Cohen, who will serve as chairman of the company's supervisory board. Most recently, Brown served as global head of discovery at F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd., of Basel, Switzerland, overseeing the output of drug candidates from about 2,000 scientists across Roche's five research sites.
Diacrin Inc., of Charlestown, Mass., signed a development and license agreement for Japan with Terumo Corp., of Tokyo, an international pharmaceutical and medical device company. The license involves human muscle cell transplantation technology for cardiac disease, which Diacrin is testing in multicenter human trials in the U.S. Terumo will fund all development in Japan, and Diacrin will receive an up-front license fee of $2 million, milestone payments and a royalty on product sales. The companies plan to share clinical data and strategy to facilitate product approval in Japan.
Epicyte Pharmaceutical Inc., of San Diego, selected AAI International, a division of aaiPharma Inc., of Wilmington, N.C., to develop the industry's first topical formulation of a monoclonal antibody. The program is expected to lead to a topical gel formulation of Epicyte's lead antibody compound, HX8, which has proved capable of complete viral neutralization of herpes simplex virus in preclinical models. Epicyte partnered with The Dow Chemical Co. to produce HX8, a product for the prevention and treatment of HSV.
Gen-Probe Inc., of San Diego, began regular-way trading on the Nasdaq National Market under the ticker symbol GPRO following the its spin-off from Chugai Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., of Tokyo. The spin-off was finalized Sunday with the distribution by Chugai of about 23.8 million shares of Gen-Probe common stock to Chugai shareholders.
Immtech International Inc., of Vernon Hills, Ill., said its common stock will continue to be listed on The Nasdaq SmallCap Market via an exception to the market capitalization/net tangible asset requirements. As of March 8, the company was granted a temporary exception from those conditions subject to meeting certain conditions by Sept. 25, 2002. Immtech said that while it "believes that it can meet these conditions, there can be no assurance that it will do so."
Immune Network Ltd., of Vancouver, British Columbia, and Jacobus Pharmaceutical Co. Inc., of Princeton, N.J., agreed in principle on the terms of a licensing arrangement under which Immune Network will provide Jacobus with exclusive rights to its preclinical and clinical data and patents on dapsone, an anti-inflammatory drug candidate for Alzheimer's and other diseases. Jacobus will provide Immune Network with a double-digit royalty on that part of dapsone revenue that exceeds certain preset thresholds. The royalty provision will begin once the agreement is signed, which the companies said is expected later this month.
InforMax Inc., of Bethesda, Md., launched Vector Xpression, a software tool for the analysis of microarray gene expression data. Vector Xpression's data import wizard is designed to allow scientists to increase their productivity by simplifying and speeding the importation of complex data.
Medicure Inc., of Winnipeg, Manitoba, completed patient enrollment in a multicenter Phase II trial to evaluate the cardioprotective effect of MC-1 against damage caused by ischemia and ischemic reperfusion frequently experienced by high-risk heart disease patients undergoing angioplasty. The trial is a placebo-controlled, single-blind feasibility study called MEND-1. The last patient is expected to complete the study in four weeks, when the database will be locked and analysis started.
Nautilus Biotech, of Paris, and Aventis Pasteur, of Lyon, France, signed an agreement to develop improved producer cell lines for vaccines for three specific undisclosed targets. Nautilus' high-throughput Biomics platform will be used to develop the cell clones. Nautilus will receive full research funding, milestone payments and royalty payments on any product sales. Aventis Pasteur will receive exclusive worldwide rights to use the cell lines selected by Nautilus Biotech.
Osiris Therapeutics Inc., of Baltimore, appointed William Pursley president and CEO. Pursley replaces Alfred Seidel, who served in an interim capacity for seven months. Pursley has 23 years of experience in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries, serving most recently as senior vice president of commercial operations at Transkaryotic Therapies Inc., of Cambridge, Mass.
Ribonomics Inc., of Research Triangle Park, N.C., and Medical & Biological Laboratories Co. Ltd., of Nagoya, Japan, entered a collaboration to develop and commercialize clinical diagnostic and research products. The alliance combines MBL's product development and commercialization expertise with Ribonomics' target discovery process and systems biology data. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Stanford University Medical Center researchers said they devised a way to sneak DNA into skin cells taken from people with a potentially deadly genetic skin disorder. The modified cells later formed normal, healthy skin when transplanted onto the skin of mice. The technique, published in the advance online publication of the October issue of Nature Medicine, marks the first time researchers have stably replaced the mutated gene in the disease and introduces a new gene therapy technique that could be useful in a variety of diseases, the university said.