Antisoma plc, of London, said that Thioplatin, its tumor-targeted version of the cancer chemotherapeutic platin, has properties distinct from other platin drugs and also shows activity on cisplatin-resistant cells. Thioplatin, licensed from the German Cancer Research Center, is designed to be more active than other platins in the more acidic environment found around tumors. Antisoma presented data at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research held in San Francisco this week, showing Thioplatin was active in three human ovarian carcinoma cell lines with acquired cisplatin resistance, and has a unique cancer cell growth inhibition profile across 60 human tumor cell lines when compared to other platins.

British Biotech plc, of Oxford, UK, said E21R has been designated an orphan drug by the European Union for the treatment of juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia. This disease affects fewer than 500 children a year in the EU, and current treatment involving bone marrow transplants and chemotherapy has limited survival benefits. E21R is being developed by British Biotech in collaboration with Australia-based BresaGen Ltd. It is in Phase II trials in adults in the UK and Australia.

NicOx SA, of Sophia Antipolis, France, announced positive results from a Phase IIa trial of HCT-1026, its nitric oxide-releasing derivative of the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug flurbiprofen, in the treatment of disorders of the lower urinary tract, including hyperactive bladder and urinary incontinence. The trial, which was conducted at two hospitals in the United Kingdom, provided proof of concept for the drug in this indication. HCT-1026 also is being developed for the treatment of inflammation, osteoporosis and urticaria.

CeNeS Pharmaceuticals plc, of Cambridge, UK, and Bioglan Pharma plc, of Hertfordshire, UK, agreed to the termination of their collaboration in pain control and drug delivery, first agreed to in January 2000 and extended in April 2000. All rights are to be returned to their respective owners. Bioglan had certain marketing rights to Moraxen, CeNeS’ controlled-release formulation of morphine, and exclusive rights to CeNeS’ microparticle drug delivery system in certain compounds. CeNeS had European and South East Asian marketing rights to an opiod spray under development by Bioglan and access to one of Bioglan’s drug delivery technologies for the development of a selected compound. Bioglan also owned 8.9 million CeNeS shares, and these were sold last week to a company controlled by Alan Goodman, CeNeS’ chairman, and Daniel Roach, former CEO of CeNeS.

MyoContract Pharmaceutical Research Ltd., of Basel, Switzerland, and MelTec GmbH, of Magdeburg, Germany, entered a collaboration based on the progressive muscular wasting disease Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). The companies will jointly develop assay systems to be employed in MyoContract’s DMD research program. MyoContract will supply muscle cell cultures derived from normal and diseased tissues, while MelTec will apply its proprietary topological proteomics imaging technology, MELK, to derive the protein fingerprint that characterizes the condition. Financial terms were not disclosed.