Aptus Genomics Inc., of Gaithersburg, Md., and Array BioPharma Inc., of Boulder, Colo., formed an agreement to create small-molecule therapeutics against select G protein-coupled receptor targets. Aptus will use its AptuScreen technology to screen Array’s Lead Generation Libraries on a nonexclusive basis. Array will work exclusively with Aptus on a select number of GPCR targets and will provide Aptus access to its libraries in exchange for Aptus common stock. Array will optimize resulting leads and will receive research funding and be entitled to milestones and royalties. Also, Array will have the option to jointly fund, develop and own a limited number of leads identified in the collaboration.
Centocor Inc., of Malvern, Pa., said a study published in the April issue of The Journal of Rheumatology demonstrated that patients with rheumatoid arthritis may experience improvement in the pain and stiffness of the disease as early as 48 hours following their first in-office infusion of Remicade (infliximab), in combination with methotrexate. The authors also studied a shortened infusion time of one hour in a subset of patients who tolerated their initial four Remicade treatments. Remicade is a monoclonal antibody that targets and binds to tumor necrosis factor alpha.
ChromaVision Medical Systems Inc., of San Juan Capistrano, Calif., introduced an advanced version of its ACIS tissue microarray application with improved automation and throughput, enhanced multitasking and a flexible user interface, the company said. The tissue microarray capability is being used by ChromaVision research customers for various basic science and clinical studies.
Cytovax Biotechnologies Inc., of Edmonton, Alberta, received gross proceeds of C$4.58 million (US$2.9 million) pursuant to a first closing of the C$10 million private placement announced March 26. In the first closing, the company issued about 1.7 million common shares at C$2.75 per share to a group of institutional investors. The private placement is being co-led by Dlouhy Merchant Group Inc. and First Associates Investments Inc., and included Sprott Securities Inc. An additional closing is anticipated in the next 30 days. The price was modified from the previously announced $3 per share for the first and any subsequent closings. Proceeds will be used to continue and expand Cytovax’s research and development activities.
First Genetic Trust Inc., of Deerfield, Ill., and nTouch Research Corp., of Raleigh, N.C., formed an alliance to advance the discovery and development of a new generation of pharmaceutical products matched to individual patients’ genetic makeup. First Genetic’s information technology operating system for genomic research and molecular medicine will be integrated with nTouch Research’s biorepository of DNA samples collected from participants in clinical trials. Financial details were not disclosed.
GenoMed Inc., of St. Louis, filed a Form 10-SB with the SEC in order to apply to have its common stock quoted on the Over-the-Counter Bulletin Board. GenoMed is focused on identifying disease-causing genes and using the genes to treat patients.
Genzyme Transgenic Corp., of Framingham, Mass., purchased 2.82 million shares of its stock from Genzyme Corp. It purchased the shares for an aggregate amount of about $9.6 million, consisting of about $4.8 million in cash and a promissory note to Genzyme for the remaining amount. The stock was valued at $3.385 per share in the transaction, based on an average price of transaction prices quoted on Nasdaq April 1. Genzyme has committed to a 24-month lock-up provision on the remaining 4.92 million shares of Genzyme Transgenic stock.
Meditech Research Ltd., of West Perth, Australia, said it completed a Phase I trial of its drug delivery technology, HyACTTM, formulated with 5-fluorouracil for the treatment of colorectal cancer. It said it would complete, within weeks, another Phase I trial using the system formulated with doxorubicin. Data from the doxorubicin trial are being compiled for analysis. The company said the HyACTTM platform was effective in reducing or eliminating grafted human cancer tumors in animal studies.
MelTec GmbH, of Magdeburg, Germany, and MyoContract Pharmaceutical Research Ltd., of Basel, Switzerland, formed a collaboration in the field of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The companies will focus on the development of assay systems to be used as drug discovery tools in MyoContract’s research program. MyoContract will provide muscle cell cultures derived from normal and diseased tissues. MelTec will use its systems biology and functional proteomics to establish the topological protein fingerprint of the diseased cells in comparison to healthy muscle cells. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Orchid BioSciences Inc., of Princeton, N.J., said its Orchid Cellmark facility in Dallas received accreditation as a forensic DNA laboratory by the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors-Laboratory Accreditation Board. This is the second accreditation for Orchid Cellmark its Germantown, Md., facility previously won accreditation. The accreditation certifies the facility meets or exceeds the national standards and guidelines for forensic DNA testing.
Organogenesis Inc., of Canton, Mass., named Steven Bernitz president, CEO and a member of its board. Bernitz joined Organogenesis in 1999. Before Organogenesis, he served in senior management positions at Dyax Corp., of Cambridge, Mass.
Repligen Corp., of Needham, Mass., said the FDA granted it approval to market SecreFlo (synthetic porcine secretin), the first synthetic version of the hormone secretin. SecreFlo was approved for stimulation of pancreatic secretions (including bicarbonate) to aid in the diagnosis of pancreatic exocrine dysfunction, or chronic pancreatitis, and stimulation of gastrin secretion to aid in the diagnosis of gastrinoma. Repligen develops drugs for pediatric disorders including autism and immune and metabolic disorders.
The Genetics Co., of Zurich, Switzerland, and the University of Zurich used a Drosophilia model of colon cancer to identify and characterize two genes with products that play roles in the control of the activity of that pathway. The team said it hopes to unravel the functional interplay of the corresponding human homologues with other mediator proteins of the WNT pathway, such as beta-catenin and TCF, which are believed to be involved in the induction of tumorigenic signals. Parts of the researchers work was published in the April 2002 issue of Cell.