Advanced Life Sciences, of Woodridge, Ill., filed an investigational new drug application with the FDA for ALS-886, which has demonstrated in preclinical studies the ability to reduce lung vascular tissue damage often associated with acute respiratory distress syndrome, the company said. Advanced Life Sciences focuses on discovering and developing therapeutic compounds to fight infection, inflammation and cancer.
Ariad Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., said results from studies by its scientists demonstrate, for the first time, the use of small-molecule drugs to regulate naturally occurring genes through specific activators. The company said the studies highlight the expanding use of its cell-signaling regulation technology in products. The paper describing the studies appears in the July 2002 issue of Nature Biotechnology.
Biopsytec Holding AG, of Berlin, raised more than EUR5 million (US$4.9 million) in a second round of financing. The round was led by SAM Sustainability Private Equity LP, of Guernsey, Germany, and included Deutsche Venture Capital, of Munich, Germany, and Industrie Management Holdings, of Berlin. Biopsytec provides technologies that combine quality, safety and efficiency in food and animal production, it said.
BioSyntech Inc., of Laval, Quebec, said it received the funds associated with its financing announced April 3. The company received the C$2.5 million (US$1.6 million) from BDC Venture Capital, a division of the Business Development Bank of Canada. The financing, along with the C$1.2 million credit facility being negotiated with a chartered bank in Canada, plus the C$1 million in the company's reserves, is expected to fund operations beyond 2003, BioSyntech said. BioSyntech is a biomaterials company focused on tissue repair and the delivery of therapeutic products.
Cytyc Corp., of Boxborough, Mass., extended its offer to purchase for cash and stock all of the outstanding shares of common stock of Digene Corp., of Gaithersburg, Md., to July 12, unless further extended. Prior to the extension of the exchange offer, the offer had been scheduled to expire on June 27. In February, Cytyc said it planned to acquire Digene in a deal then valued at $554 million. (See BioWorld Today, Feb. 20, 2002.)
Exegenics Inc., of Dallas, obtained exclusive commercial rights from the University of California and the University of British Columbia to use enzyme targets that can serve in the development of drugs to fight tuberculosis, it said. Findings concerning the enzymes were presented at the Fifth International Conference on the Pathogenesis of Mycobacterial Infections in Stockholm, Sweden. The research demonstrated a direct correlation between depletion of mycothiol and a susceptibility to antibiotics.
Gene Logic Inc., of Gaithersburg, Md., said Schering-Plough Research Institute in Kenilworth, N.J., signed a GeneExpress CustomSuite database access agreement to use the product in its pharmaceutical research and development operations. The companies also will conduct a pilot toxicity study. Financial terms were not disclosed.
GlycoDesign Inc., of Toronto, elected Nelson Sims as chairman. Sims spent 28 years with Eli Lilly and Co., of Indianapolis, holding a number of senior positions. GlycoDesign focuses on discovering, developing and delivering glycotherapeutics.
Immune Network Ltd., of Vancouver, British Columbia, said that at its general meeting it authorized a 10-for-1 reverse split of its common stock. Also, the company said it completed the treatment stage in its DAD2000 Phase II trial of dapsone in Alzheimer's disease patients. The data are being reviewed.
Incara Pharmaceuticals Corp., of Research Triangle Park, N.C., submitted an investigational new drug application to the FDA for Phase I trials of human liver cells in patients with cirrhosis and end-stage liver disease. Preliminary human trials of liver cell transplantation by independent investigators have shown improvement of liver function in some patients with liver failure, Incara said. Its liver cell transplantation product is a mixture of cryopreserved human liver cells obtained from the livers of organ donors that are not suitable for whole organ transplant.
Large Scale Biology Corp., of Vacaville, Calif., formed a long-term biological materials manufacturing and supply agreement with Growers Research Group LLC, of Monterey County, Calif. Financial terms were not disclosed, but the contract includes both a supply agreement and upside profit sharing based on anticipated Growers Research sales of one or more materials. Large Scale will produce and supply to Growers Research its requirements for one or more grades of an antimicrobial enzyme that Growers Research will market for agricultural and other commercial applications.
National Institutes of Health, of Bethesda, Md., said research funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development helped find a gene on the X chromosome, AGTR2, that, when abnormal, appears to result in mental retardation. The study, done by researchers at the J.C. Self Research Institute of Human Genetics at the Greenwood Genetic Center in South Carolina, was published in the June 28, 2002, issue of Science.
NovaScreen Biosciences Corp., of Hanover, Md., said it received a two-year Phase II Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, part of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. The $1.1 million grant will be used to develop a profiling database for cocaine medications. The database will contain activity profiles of cocaine and other addictive substances in receptor, transport, enzyme and functional assays. Using the database along with its Reactivity Selectivity Mapping Database, the company will do in silico screening in search of drugs to treat cocaine addiction.
StemCells Inc., of Palo Alto, Calif., entered a license agreement with BioWhittaker Inc., a subsidiary of Cambrex Corp., of East Rutherford, N.J., allowing BioWhittaker to manufacture, use and sell certain human neural stem cells for educational and research purposes. Financial terms were not disclosed. StemCells uses technology to isolate, purify and expand stem or progenitor cells.
The Inamori Foundation, of Kyoto, Japan, said it would honor Leroy Hood with the 2002 Kyoto Prize in Advanced Technology for outstanding contributions to biotechnology and medical technologies. Hood will receive 50 million yen (about US$400,000) in a prize ceremony held in Kyoto. Hood, president and director of the Institute for Systems Biology, played a role in the mapping of the human genome.
Trinity Medical Group USA Inc., of Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., amended its Remune license and collaboration contract with The Immune Response Corp., of Carlsbad, Calif. The contract now calls for an additional $50 per unit to be paid to Immune Response for the first 1 million doses of Remune purchased by Trinity. Trinity will receive shares of Immune Response common stock and a waiver of the final, optional $5 million milestone payment for the technology transfer of Remune manufacturing rights in Trinity's licensed territories. Trinity will receive 4 million shares immediately and 3 million when sales milestones occur. Also, Trinity would receive 2 million shares upon the Thai government's approval of the HIV drug in exchange for a required $5 million milestone payment to Immune Response.