Biosearch Italia SpA, of Gerenzano, Italy, said its next-generation antibiotic, dalbavancin, entered Phase II trials for treatment of catheter-related bloodstream infections. Approximately 5 percent of the 7 million central venous catheters inserted annually in the U.S. are linked to at least one episode of bloodstream infection, said the company, citing a 1994 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Dalbavancin, a bactericidal glycopeptide agent, is designed to offer benefits over vancomycin, currently one of the few available treatments for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus epidermidis infections. The compound is in Phase II studies for the treatment of complicated skin and soft tissue infections. Biosearch Italia’s partner, Versicor Inc., of Fremont, Calif., which holds U.S. and Canadian commercialization rights for dalbavancin, is conducting both trials.

LION bioscience AG, of Heidelberg, Germany, appointed Martin Hollenhorst chief financial officer effective April 1. Hollenhorst has accumulated finance, controlling and management experience working for a variety of companies internationally, LION said. His positions included posts as CEO, CFO and managing director. Most recently, he was a freelance management consultant in Washington, specializing in advising German-American companies on strategic and acquisition matters.

NicOx SA, of Sophia Antipolis, France, appointed Damian Marron as senior business development director. Marron has 16 years of experience in the international pharmaceutical industry and was previously head of business development at 3M Pharmaceuticals.

TranXenoGen Inc., based in Shrewsbury, Mass., said it is close to achieving proof of principle for its avian transgenic technology in the production of insulin. The company succeeded in creating transgenic chickens carrying an insulin gene, and is currently screening their eggs to see how much insulin they contain. Eight other transgenic chicken lines are in development for the production of human serum albumin, calcitonin, human growth hormone, and five unnamed human monoclonal antibodies. TransXenoGen is listed on the Alternative Investment Market in London.

Wilex AG, of Munich, Germany, reported positive Phase Ia data on its antimetastatic drug candidate, WX-UK1. The compound is a small-molecule urokinase inhibitor, designed for combination treatment with chemotherapy for cancer patients who have expressed elevated levels of urokinase-type plasminogen activators in their tumors. Eighteen volunteers were included in the placebo-controlled, dose-escalating, double-blinded, randomized, single-application trial. The drug was safe and well tolerated, Wilex said.