Agenix Ltd., of North Ryde, Australia, said its subsidiary, PhytoProtein Biotech Pte. Ltd., of Singapore, received funding through a placement of shares. Commerce Technology Ventures Sdn Bhd now owns 12.2 percent of PhytoProtein, having bought an undisclosed number of shares at SGD$12.04 per share. The funds will be used to accelerate research and development in the development and manufacture of recombinant antigens and proteins for use in diagnostic kits and animal vaccines.
AltaRex Corp., of Waltham, Mass., released expanded clinical efficacy data from its two completed placebo-controlled OvaRex (oregovomab) trials for the treatment of advanced ovarian cancer, as well as early immunological results from its third controlled study. With regard to the company’s lead 345-patient OvaRex trial, a statistical model (Cox Proportional Hazard Ratio) for the well-defined population demonstrated a 41 percent reduced risk of relapse for OvaRex-treated patients compared to placebo, a result that is statistically significant (p=0.0313). Data from the 12-month progression-free survival analysis of the well-defined population included the finding that 62 percent of OvaRex-treated patients with detectable levels of CA125 at first dose remained progression free vs. 41 percent of patients on placebo (p=0.0449). Also, all OvaRex studies to date demonstrate a benign safety profile. The placebo-controlled trials show that OvaRex’s impact on quality of life is no different than placebo.
Arcanum Discovery Inc., of Mount Laurel, N.J., said it opened its headquarters in Mount Laurel. Arcanum was founded in May 2001. The company focuses on the industry surrounding protein-based research to identify drug targets and technologies.
Cellomics Inc., of Pittsburgh, released the GPCR Signaling Software application for the ArrayScan HCS System. Cellomics has developed a multiparameter software application for the analysis of subcellular translocation of biomolecules of interest.
Cohesive Technologies Inc., of Franklin, Mass., said a paper detailing how its TurboFlow high-throughput liquid chromatography eliminates the need for method development in drug discovery was published in the March 15, 2002, issue of Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry. Cohesive develops, manufactures and markets liquid chromatography systems and chemistries for the pharmaceutical drug discovery and development markets.
Columbia Laboratories Inc., of Livingston, N.J., said its board adopted a stockholders rights plan designed to protect shareholders in the event of takeover activity that would deny them the full value of their investment. The plan was not adopted in response to any specific effort to acquire control of the company, Columbia Labs said.
ConjuChem Inc., of Montreal, said it has a sponsored research collaboration agreement with Suntory Pharmaceutical Research Laboratories LLC, of Cambridge, Mass. The agreement calls for the application of ConjuChem’s in vivo bioconjugation DAC technology to create longer-acting therapeutic compounds to treat cardiovascular and related diseases. ConjuChem’s systemic DAC technology platforms enable the creation of new drugs with enhanced therapeutic properties compared to the original drug compounds, the company said.
Digene Corp., of Gaithersburg, Md., filed suit against Enzo Biochem in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware seeking a declaratory judgment that Enzo’s U.S. Patent No. 6,221,581 B1 is not infringed by any of Digene’s products and that the claims are invalid. Digene said its suit was prompted by Enzo’s threats of litigation.
Guava Technologies Inc., of Burlingame, Calif., appointed Rajen Dalal CEO and president. Dalal is former vice president of Chiron Corp., of Emeryville, Calif., and president of Chiron’s blood testing division. Dalal also will join Guava’s board.
DNAPrint genomics Inc., of Sarasota, Fla., announced successful results from an ongoing collaboration with the University of Miami aimed at identifying the genetic basis for variable paclitaxel (Taxol) response in cancer patients. The results were presented at a conference in Boston. Management said it believes that the results presented constitute the core for developing a predictive genetic test called the Ovanome classifier, which could be used to economically evaluate the suitability of cancer patients for standard doses of paclitaxel chemotherapy during first-line treatment of ovarian cancer.
InforMax Inc., of Bethesda, Md., named Andrew Whiteley chairman, president and CEO. Whiteley held several senior management positions with Amersham Biosciences Corp., most recently vice president of bioinformatics. He has been on InforMax’s board since 2000.
Innovative Drug Delivery Systems Inc., of New York, set its price range at between $8 and $10 and the number of shares at 5.6 million for its initial public offering. At that range, the offering would raise between $44.8 million and $56 million. The company filed for its IPO on Jan. 2. Innovative develops new drugs and improved formulations of existing drugs for the prescription pain management market.
Ionian Technologies was spun out from the Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Life Sciences, located in Claremont, Calif. The institute entered a licensing and royalty agreement with Ionian and will explore Ionian’s core technology through a research partnership. Ionian will develop and market disposable products based on a direct method of preparing genetic material for analysis, a method identified by the institute’s co-founder.
Ixion Biotechnology Inc., of Alachua, Fla., a majority-owned subsidiary of Q-Med, was awarded a research grant of $99,000 for continued studies in the diabetes area. The National Institutes of Health, of Bethesda, Md., awarded Ixion the grant to investigate the possibility of using stem cells from bone marrow in adults to treat diabetes. Ixion’s technology in diabetes comprises the proliferation and differentiation of insulin-producing stem cells in the laboratory.
Myriad Genetics Inc., of Salt Lake City, published the results of testing 10,000 consecutive individuals with its BRACAnalysis predicitive medicine test. The study was published in the March 15, 2002, issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology. The study provides an estimate of the prevalence of deleterious BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations in a population selected and tested for the purpose of medical care. Overall, women who were tested by their physicians for purposes of medical care were 100 times more likely to carry a mutation than women in the general population, indicating that physicians are able to use a woman’s personal history to identify those most likely to test positive.
NeoTherapeutics Inc., of Irvine, Calif., said it completed patient dosing in its pivotal trial of Neotrofin in Alzheimer’s disease. It expects to announce results by mid-May. Separately, the company said it presented data at the fourth annual meeting of the American Society of Experimental Neurotherapeutics on the neuroprotective effects of Neotrofin in animal models of Parkinson’s disease. In the studies, Neotrofin demonstrated better neuroprotective effects than riluzole, an approved drug for Parkinson’s disease. NeoTherapeutics is conducting a 40-patient Phase II study of Neotrofin in patients with early stage Parkinson’s disease.
PamGene BV, of Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands, received the “Zilveren Zandloper” research prize at the National Biotechnology Congress held in Wageningen, the Netherlands. Ir. Henk van Damme received the prize for his development of a flow-through array platform technology called the PamChip Array. The commercialization of the first PamChip Arrays will start next quarter, the company said. The arrays are partnered with Olympus Optical Co. Ltd., of Japan.