Advanced Tissue Sciences Inc., of La Jolla, Calif., reported plans to realign the company to address new opportunities. It formed BioNuvia Inc., a science-driven subsidiary with the mission of developing and marketing bioengineered products for aesthetics and other markets for enhancing appearance and rejuvenating the body. Kerry Vail, a current company executive, will serve as vice president and general manager of BioNuvia. Advanced Tissue also said it is exploring opportunities to create other subsidiaries and to create new alliances and initiatives to unlock longer-term product opportunities.
AlphaRx Inc., of Richmond Hill, Ontario, said it now is able to generate revenue from the sale of three over-the-counter products on the market: ARX 100C the company’s oral health product and two topical Flexogan creams for arthritis pain and muscle relief. AlphaRx develops and markets therapeutic products based on its Bioadhesive Colloidal Dispersion drug delivery technology.
Boston Life Sciences Inc., of Boston, said that Inosine, its preclinical drug candidate designed to promote central nervous system nerve regeneration, appears not to cause random, uncontrolled or unwanted axon regeneration in normal rats. The conclusion is based on the results of a 28-day toxicity test in rats, which was completed to determine whether there were any adverse general or CNS-specific, dose-limiting toxicity associated with continuous CNS administration of Inosine.
Cellegy Pharmaceuticals Inc., of South San Francisco, filed a new drug submission with the Therapeutic Products Program in Canada for Rectogesic (nitroglycerin ointment), for the treatment of pain associated with chronic anal fissures. This filing is based on the Cellegesic (nitroglycerin ointment) new drug application submitted in the U.S. last year. The submission also includes results of two Phase III trials, demonstrating summary data showing that nitroglycerin ointment relieves pain and heals chronic anal fissures in the majority of patients.
Cytyc Corp., of Boxborough, Mass., said it expects to receive within the next several days a formal request from the Federal Trade Commission for additional information and documentary material in connection with the FTC’s review of Cytyc’s proposed acquisition of Digene Corp., of Gaithersburg, Md. On Feb. 19, Cytyc and Digene signed a definitive merger agreement pursuant to which Cytyc would acquire all of the outstanding shares of Digene common stock in a cash-and-stock exchange worth about $554 million. (See BioWorld Today, Feb. 20, 2002.)
Gentel Inc., of Madison, Wis., said it finalized collaborative agreements with the University of Wisconsin in Madison, the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, and the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. Gentel also said it garnered funding from federal agencies such as the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Office of Naval Research and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Gentel is developing biochip-based genomic tools for life science research.
Incara Pharmaceuticals Corp., of Research Triangle Park, N.C., described research on human hepatic (liver) stem cells at the Keystone Symposium on Stem Cells: Origins, Fates and Functions, in Keystone, Colo. The cells are capable of multiplying and giving rise to mature liver cells. The research, carried out at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, is supported by Incara, which has a license to results.
Johnson & Johnson, of New Brunswick, N.J., signed a definitive agreement to acquire all the assets of Tibotec-Virco NV, of Mechelen, Belgium, which has several compounds in development for the treatment of infectious diseases, including HIV. The transaction is valued at about $320 million in cash and debt. J&J is expected to incur a one-time charge of about $145 million, or 50 cents per share, upon closing. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter.
Large Scale Biology Corp., of Vacaville, Calif., formed an alliance with ApoImmune Inc., of Louisville, Ky., involving the production of therapeutic proteins related to stimulating the human immune system. LSBC expects to produce two of ApoImmune’s polypeptides, which it said are intended to be used as adjuvants to create a more powerful immune response. When used in conjunction with ApoImmune’s ProtEx method, the proteins are designed to specifically target cancer cells for destruction by the human immune system.
Novavax Inc., of Columbia, Md., presented data from its Estrasorb Phase III trial in postmenopausal women at the Society for Gynecologic Investigation’s 49th Annual Scientific Meeting held in Los Angeles. The data showed patients using Estrasorb (estradiol topical emulsion) experienced an 85 percent reduction in the total number of hot flashes during the trial. Estrasorb is being reviewed by the FDA for the treatment of moderate to severe vasomotor symptoms in postmenopausal women.
Paladin Labs Inc., of Montreal, closed a $21 million special warrant private placement announced March 12, issuing approximately 2.2 million warrants, including an overallotment option of 100,000 warrants at a price of $9.50. Each is exercisable into one common share. Half of the proceeds are being held in escrow until the final prospectus has been cleared. The financing was co-led by CIBC World Markets Inc., of New York, and Yorkton Securities Inc., of Toronto. It also included Desjardins Securities Inc., of Montreal; BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc., of Vancouver, British Columbia; National Bank Financial Inc., of Montreal; and Sprott Securities Inc., of Toronto.
PPD Discovery, a subsidiary of Wilmington, N.C.-based PPD Inc., established a relationship with New England Biolabs Inc., of Beverly, Mass., to produce and sell recombinant human cytochrome P450 enzymes expressed in bacteria using PPD Discovery’s Pharmazyme technology. NEB will receive a nonexclusive license to make and sell human CYP450 enzymes, will sell the enzymes under the Pharmazyme trademark and will pay PPD Discovery royalties. Separately, PPD Discovery established a relationship with Cypex Ltd., of Dundee, Scotland, to manufacture, market and distribute P450 using the Pharmazyme technology.
Quintiles Transnational Corp., of Research Triangle Park, N.C., acquired certain assets of Bioglan Pharma Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of Bioglan Pharma plc, of Hertfordshire, UK, in a transaction valued at approximately $26.7 million. As part of the agreement, Quintiles also acquired Bioglan Pharma’s rights to certain dermatology products now on the U.S. market, including the prescription product Adoxa (doxycycline) for the treatment of severe acne. Quintiles is a provider of information technology and services.
The Immune Response Corp., of Carlsbad, Calif., issued a $2 million secured promissory note to Oshkim Ltd. Partnership, giving the company sufficient funds for planned operations through April. The promissory note bears interest at a rate of 8 percent per year and matures on May 5. In the event that Oshkim or an affiliate of Oshkim shall, prior to such date, loan money to the company, all such money shall be applied to repay the note and interest.
Tredegar Corp., of Richmond, Va., said it plans to divest its biotech operations in order to focus on its plastics and aluminum manufacturing businesses. Its two biotech research units, Molecumetics and Therics, had a combined 2001 operating loss of $22 million. Tredegar expects to complete the divestitures by the end of this year.
ViaLogy Corp., of Pasadena, Calif., secured $3 million in its first round of equity financing from BioProjects International plc, of London. ViaLogy is an early stage technology company that discovered and developed an active signal-processing technology. Using its patented quantum resonance interferometry, the company said it enables increases in detection sensitivity of DNA microarrays and other molecular detection systems.