BioProgress Technology Inc., of Atlanta, said an unnamed division of Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., of New York, entered into an exclusive license arrangement for a variation of BioProgress' core XGel film technology. Details regarding financial terms, specific applications and products were not released. BioProgress said versions of its XGel film systems are designed to encapsulate liquids, coat tablets and deliver powders, eliminating the use of gelatin as a coating.
Cephalon Inc., of West Chester, Pa., said regulatory authorities approved its modafinil in Australia, New Zealand and Korea. Its licensees, CSL Ltd. in Australia and New Zealand, and Choongwae Pharma Corp. in Korea, will market the drug to treat excessive daytime sleepiness associated with narcolepsy under the brand names Modavigil and Provigil, respectively.
Curis Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., reported publication in the Aug. 30, 2002, issue of Science Magazine that one of its Hedgehog pathway inhibitors, cyclopamine, established therapeutic efficacy in preclinical models of medulloblastoma, the most common malignant brain tumor in children. Results indicate that inhibition of Hedgehog signaling turns off the mutated pathway and causes significant shrinkage and death of tumor cells without any evident detrimental effects on normal brain cells or other cells and organs. Curis' stock (NASDAQ:CRIS) rose 22 cents Friday, or 36.7 percent, to close at 82 cents.
Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Diego, reported publication in the most recent issue of Blood of in vitro study results showing that treating leukemic B and T cells with bexarotene (Targretin) made the cancerous cells more susceptible to killing by denileukin diftitox (Ontak). Data demonstrate that bexarotene and other RXR modulators increase high-affinity interleukin-2 receptor expression on leukemic B and T cells, suggesting that adding Targretin may enhance Ontak's clinical efficacy. Phase I/II trials are under way.
Ortec International Inc., of New York, said Nasdaq denied Ortec's appeal for continued inclusion on the Nasdaq Small Cap Market. Nasdaq delisted the stock at the start of business Friday. Ortec said it will now trade on the OTC Bulletin Board. Ortec is a tissue-engineering company and its lead product is OrCel, designed to heal chronic and acute wounds.
Pacific Biometrics Inc., of Seattle, closed its asset purchase agreement with Saigene Corp., also of Seattle, acquiring intellectual property, new management and immediate debt restructuring. Saigene will own 21 million shares of Pacific Biometrics' common stock to become its largest shareholder. Pacific Biometrics said it expects the IP will aid in bringing to market an isothermal DNA amplification assay called LIDA (Logarithmic Isothermal DNA Amplification). The acquisition also included a gene-based test for determining cell viability critical for sterility testing and antibiotic susceptibility testing.
Tanox Inc., of Houston, said a state appeals court affirmed a district court judgment confirming an arbitration award in favor of Tanox's former law firms in a fee dispute with Tanox. The decision affirms an award entitling the law firms to certain payments from sales of anti-IgE products. The initial suit involved Genentech Inc., of South San Francisco, and was settled in 1996.