Actelion Ltd., of Allschwil, Switzerland, said its bearer shares would be listed on the SWX Main Market as of Sept. 9. Actelion initially listed on the SWX New Market in April 2000. Actelion's drug, Tracleer, is an orally available dual endothelin receptor antagonist and has been approved to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension.
Applied Biosystems Group, of Foster City, Calif., and the Institute for Systems Biology in Seattle are collaborating to develop technologies and applications in proteomics. The institute plans to use Applied Biosystems' 4700 Proteomics Analyzer with TOF/TOF Optics and the ICAT reagent technology in its efforts to study the dynamics of biological systems to understand human immunity and identify strategies for preventing disease. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Biomes Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Kalamazoo, Mich., said a research collaboration between itself and Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Mich., isolated a bacteria from Mammoth Cave in Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky that produces a chemical with potential as an anti-angiogenesis product. Biomes focuses on isolating microorganisms from ecosystems for medicinal purposes.
BioTissue Technologies AG, of Freiburg, Germany, released data from a clinical study initiated in August 2001 on BioSeed-S, its autologous skin replacement product. The evaluation of 62 patients with chronic venous leg ulcers showed the product was superior to control both in wound healing and healing time required, the company said. The study will be expanded to include 240 patients at 27 centers in Germany and Europe.
Cell Pathways Inc., of Horsham, Pa., said the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md., is sponsoring two Phase II studies of Aptosyn in combination therapies for lung cancer. The Cancer and Leukemia Group B is studying Cell Pathways' Aptosyn (exisulind) in combination with etoposide and carboplatin in patients with extensive-stage small-cell lung cancer. The Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group is investigating Aptosyn in combination with gemcitabine and carboplatin in patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer. Cell Pathways also said results from a Phase I study of Aptosyn in combination with etoposide and carboplatin in small-cell lung cancer showed the drug combination was well tolerated by patients at doses of Aptosyn up to and including 250 mg twice daily.
Cell Therapeutics Inc., of Seattle, said Cell Therapeutics (UK), its subsidiary, announced the availability of Trisenox (arsenic trioxide) in Austria, Sweden, Denmark and Finland following marketing authorization from the European Commission. Trisenox already is available in France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands and the UK. The cancer treatment is designed for patients with relapsed/refractory acute promyelocytic leukemia. Trisenox was designated by the European Commission as an orphan drug for relapsed/refractory APL.
Cyntellect Inc., of San Diego, a spinoff of Oncosis Inc., said Oncosis received a Small Business Innovation Research grant to study the effectiveness of anti-NFkB thioaptamers as protection against potential bioterrorism pathogen threats. Thioaptamers are chemically modified DNA decoys that can alter the cellular response to pathogens. Oncosis will collaborate with the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston on the project.
Debiopharm SA, of Lausanne, Switzerland, said it extended its patent and knowledge agreement on Eloxatin (oxaliplatin) with Sanofi-Synthelabo, of Paris. Eloxatin is indicated for advanced colorectal cancer. Debiopharm and Sanofi-Synthelabo will share development costs for improvements to the available formulations of Eloxatin, new indications and new methods of use for Eloxatin. Sanofi-Synthelabo has worldwide marketing rights for the product, excluding Japan, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and India.
DOR BioPharma Inc., of Lake Forest, Ill., received notice from the American Stock Exchange that DOR achieved compliance with all of AMEX's continued listing requirements. The delisting process that began in May is finished and DOR will continue to trade on AMEX. In May, DOR received a notice from AMEX that DOR was subject to a delisting procedure due to DOR's failure to maintain adequate stockholders' equity as required by AMEX's continued listing standards. DOR focuses on the oral delivery of approved chemical entities and oral non-live vaccines for the treatment of a variety of disorders.
DUSA Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Wilmington, Mass., said that as of Sept. 1, it would reacquire the rights to Levulan PDT in the dermatology field from Schering AG, of Berlin. On June 6, DUSA received notice from Schering of the termination of the marketing and development deal between the companies. Schering will continue its financial support for the dermatology program for the remainder of 2002 and will complete several ongoing clinical studies for DUSA. DUSA said it is in the process of completing its own dermatology development and marketing plans. The original deal between the companies was signed in November 1999 and called for as much as $30 million to be paid to DUSA by the first commercial sale of the product. (See BioWorld Today, Nov. 24, 1999.)
Genzyme Molecular Oncology, a division of Genzyme Corp., of Cambridge, Mass., said a method of identifying proteins associated with cancer tumors could allow for the creation of cancer vaccines that help overcome the body's self-tolerance to certain cancers. An article on that subject is published in the Sept. 1, 2002, edition of The Journal of Immunology, the company said. The method, SPHERE (Solid Phase Epitope Recovery), and its ability to identify molecules that hold medical and commercial promise are described in the article.
Illumina Inc., of San Diego, signed an agreement with the University of Cambridge in the UK to provide single nucleotide polymorphism genotyping services on a sample collection provided by the university's Cambridge Institute for Medical Research (CIMR), which houses the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and Wellcome Trust-funded Diabetes and Inflammation Laboratory. Illumina will design functional assays for the SNP loci provided by CIMR, and then use its BeadArray technology to genotype specified SNPs in the set of about 3,000 samples. Financial details were not disclosed.
ImmunoGen Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., said its board authorized the repurchase of up to 4.1 million shares of ImmunoGen common stock. The purchases are to be made at the discretion of management and as market conditions warrant. No time limit was set for the completion of the program. ImmunoGen develops biopharmaceuticals for cancer.
LAB International Inc., of Laval, Quebec, said its operating facility and executive offices will be headquartered in Biotech City in Laval. The construction is under way and should be ready by the end of 2002. LAB is focused on in-licensing products for preclinical testing.
Marshall Edwards Inc., a subsidiary of Novogen Ltd., of Sydney, Australia, entered a services agreement with the Yale University School of Medicine's department of obstetrics and gynecology. A discovery at Yale Medical School laboratories that showed Marshall's cancer drug, phenoxodiol, has an effect against ovarian cancer cells helped broker the agreement. The research team at Yale University Medical School has been screening cancer drugs for their ability to kill ovarian cancer cells, and in particular, to switch off a mechanism that ovarian cancer cells depend on for survival.
Metabolic Pharmaceuticals Ltd., of Sydney, Australia, said it completed its Phase IIa trial of the obesity drug AOD9604 by single-dose oral administration. Increased average fat breakdown compared to placebo was observed at all dose levels lasting several hours after administration, reaching statistical significance at 27 mg, the company said. Preparations are being made for a safety study to be conducted before year's end with plans for an extensive weight-reduction study in 2003.
Miravant Medical Technologies, of Santa Barbara, Calif., said further results of a comprehensive analysis of the SnET2 Phase III data are positive. Two drug doses of SnET2 (0.5mg/kg and 0.75mg/kg) were investigated for the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and showed patients who enrolled in the study had a range of baseline visual acuity and were retreated only upon disease progression. As previously reported, SnET2 did not achieve the primary efficacy endpoint when all patients were included in the top-line analysis. The company now reports that certain subsets of patients demonstrated stabilized or improved visual acuity at two years. The original data were released in January. (See BioWorld Today, Jan. 15, 2002.)
QLT Inc., of Vancouver, British Columbia, and Novartis Ophthalmics, the eye health unit of Novartis AG, of Basel, Switzerland, said they completed enrollment for the Visudyne (verteporfin) in Early Retreatment Phase IIIb trial in patients with predominantly classic subfoveal choroidal neovascularization secondary to age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The trial is investigating the importance of an earlier, more aggressive treatment regimen to potentially improve the visual outcome for patients with AMD. The trial compares the standard regimen of Visudyne therapy to a more frequent regimen. There are now 323 patients enrolled at 31 sites in North America and Europe. Results from the study are expected to be available in the fourth quarter of 2003.
Texas Biotechnology Corp., of Houston, and Revotar Biopharmaceuticals AG, of Hennigsdorf, Germany, initiated a Phase IIa trial for bimosiamose as an inhaled therapy for asthma. Bimosiamose is a small-molecule selectin antagonist with anti-inflammatory effects. Revotar is developing an inhaled treatment for asthma and as a topical treatment for psoriasis and atopic dermatitis.