Advocate Christ Medical Center, of Oak Lawn, Ill., said a study published in the March 6 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology reported congestive heart failure patients receiving nesiritide (Natrecor, Scios Inc., of Sunnyvale, Calif.) required less treatment and experienced fewer complications that those undergoing traditional therapies that include the use of dobutamine. The trial, conducted at 46 institutions, involved more than 300 congestive heart failure patients. Nesiritide is a recombinant form of B-type natriuretic peptide, a hormone secreted by the heart when the heart begins to fail.
Athenix Corp., of Research Triangle Park, N.C., and AgraQuest Inc., of Davis, Calif., will provide each other access to their respective microbial collections. AgraQuest focuses on environmentally friendly natural pest management products. Athenix is developing genetic solutions for selected industrial uses. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Avid Bioservices Inc., of Tustin, Calif., a subsidiary of Peregrine Pharmaceuticals Inc., entered a supply agreement with Seradyn Inc., a subsidiary of Apogent Technologies Inc., of Portsmouth, N.H., in which Avid will manufacture a key raw material for a therapeutic drug monitoring kit distributed by Seradyn. Seradyn markets a series of kits used to monitor the side effects of therapeutic drugs. Financial terms were not disclosed.
AxCell Biosciences, of Newton, Pa., a subsidiary of Cytogen Corp., signed a term sheet with Thomas Jefferson University to research protein interactions associated with an undisclosed gene believed to play a role as a tumor suppressor in multiple cancers. Both parties agreed that intellectual property derived from the collaboration will be jointly owned, with AxCell retaining an option to negotiate an exclusive worldwide royalty-bearing license for any joint intellectual property. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Celltech Pharmaceuticals Inc., a subsidiary of Celltech Group plc, of London, said a Phase III study published in this month’s issue of Pediatrics demonstrated that Metadate CD (methylphenidate HCl, USP) Extended-Release Capsules, 20 mg, when administered daily before school, controlled attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) during the school day without the need for a second dose. Three hundred and fourteen children with ADHD, ages 6 to 15, were evaluated in the randomized, double-blind, parallel-group, placebo-controlled 32-center study. Metadate CD is approved by the FDA as a once-daily biphasic formulation of methylphenidate for the treatment of ADHD in patients 6 years of age and older.
DNAPrint genomics Inc., of Sarasota, Fla., entered a commercial and equity-based agreement with GenoMed Inc., of St. Louis. GenoMed purchased a beta version of an Orchid ultra-high-throughput genotyping system and has integrated it with DNAPrint’s existing Orchid 25K SNPstream platform. The initial term of the contract is two years, but it renews every two years. The contract calls for DNAPrint to produce more than 4 million genotypes for GenoMed in the first year at a cost of approximately $1.6 million. As part of the deal, DNAPrint obtained a royalty stake in future GenoMed profitability.
Dyax Corp., of Cambridge, Mass., and Amersham Biosciences, the life sciences division of Amersham plc, of London, said Dyax granted Amersham a license to practice Dyax’s phage display patents in the separations field. Amersham Biosciences will receive nonexclusive rights to practice Dyax’s patents to discover ligands from peptide libraries for chromatography separations. Financial details were not disclosed.
EmerGen Inc., of Salt Lake City, appointed Richard Jackson president and CEO. Jackson served as senior vice president of discovery research at Wyeth-Ayerst, the pharmaceutical division of American Home Products Corp., of Madison, N.J. Also, Jackson has served as senior vice president of research and development at Atrix Laboratories Inc., of Fort Collins, Colo.
Geron Corp., of Menlo Park, Calif., acquired from Lynx Therapeutics Inc., of Hayward, Calif., Lynx’s patents relating to oligonucleotides containing phosphoramidate backbone linkages. Geron paid $2.5 million in cash and stock for the intellectual property. Geron will own patent rights to composition-of-matter and production process technologies for phosphoramidate oligonucleotides and related derivatives, including a manufacturing process for Geron’s telomerase inhibitor GRN163, a compound in preclinical development for cancer.
InforMax Inc., of Bethesda, Md., said its GenoMax enterprise bioinformatics system and Vector NTI Suite were selected by the State University of New York at Buffalo as part of The Buffalo Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics. The university signed a license agreement with InforMax for the software solutions, which will be used to support research activities and provide statewide academic access to InforMax’s bioinformatics products. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Inspire Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Durham, N.C., completed a Phase I trial for INS37217 Intranasal, being developed as a nasal spray for the potential treatment of upper respiratory disorders involving impaired mucociliary clearance. Data from the 60-patient, single-center, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, ascending-dose safety and tolerability study showed consistent evidence of pharmacological effect across the study population following single-dose administration, based on a standard measure of mucociliary clearance and transport, the company said.
ISTA Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Irvine, Calif., will begin the process of unmasking data and initiating the analysis of its Phase III studies of Vitrase for the treatment of severe vitreous hemorrhage. Neither ISTA nor the FDA have reviewed the data. Vitrase received fast-track designation from the FDA for the treatment of severe vitreous hemorrhage.
Lipid Sciences Inc., of Pleasanton, Calif., formerly known as NZ Corp., extended until April 30 the deadline for NZ Corp. stockholders to take action to receive various rights. Each NZ stockholder as of Nov. 28 may qualify to receive additional shares of Lipid common stock by taking action to become the direct registered owner of shares of Lipid stock before April 30. Lipid will issue to each former NZ stockholder certificates evidencing one right for each share of NZ common stock.
Micralyne Inc., of Edmonton, Alberta, released ProtoChip, a platform for small-volume prototyping of microfluidic designs. ProtoChip is a service that allows customers to design custom glass microfluidic devices unique to their needs. Micralyne uses micromachining technology to produce miniaturized components to enable improvements in telecommunications and bioanalysis instrumentation.
Naturol Inc., of Las Vegas, a wholly owned subsidiary of Coronado Explorations Ltd., started a research project partnership with the Food Technology Centre, of Prince Edward Island, Canada, to extract Taxanes from Canadian Yew trees. The recent commissioning of a Naturol extract processing plant on a pilot scale at the center has made the project possible, Naturol said. Financial details were not disclosed.
Northwest Biotherapeutics Inc., of Bothell, Wash., adopted a stockholders rights plan to protect stockholders against, among other things, unsolicited attempts to acquire control of the company that do not offer an adequate price to all stockholders or are otherwise not in the best interests of Northwest and its stockholders. The plan was not adopted in response to any specific effort to acquire the company, Northwest said.
Orchid BioSciences Inc., of Princeton, N.J., said that Robertson Stephens Inc., of San Francisco, the underwriter of its recent offering of common stock, exercised its over-allotment option to purchase an additional 1 million shares, resulting in the total sale of 9 million shares for gross proceeds of $22.5 million. The shares of common stock were offered through a prospectus supplement pursuant to the company’s effective shelf registration statement. Orchid’s business units provide products, services and technologies for genetic diversity analyses. (See BioWorld Today, Feb. 22, 2002.)
Pozen Inc., of Chapel Hill, N.C., said it submitted final results of its six-month mouse carcinogencity study for MT 100 to the FDA. The results confirm preliminary findings submitted in February that indicated MT 100 was not carcinogenic in the test species, p53 transgenic mice. MT 100 is being developed as an oral first-line treatment for migraine pain and associated symptoms. Pozen expects to submit its new drug application for MT 100 in the first half of 2003.
Q3DM Inc., of San Diego, was awarded a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. The SBIR awards (Phase I and II), valued at more than $1.5 million, will be used to further develop Q3DM’s high-throughput, high-resolution cellular imaging systems. Q3DM develops high-throughput microscopy technologies to accelerate the discovery of new medicines.
Quorex Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Carlsbad, Calif., reported at the third conference on “Superbugs and Superdrugs: Innovations in Anti-Infectives,” a breakthrough in understanding cystic fibrosis that will result in drug leads within four to six months, it said. Using new bioinformatics tools, Quorex assigned gene functions to more than half of the previously unknown genes of pseudomonas aeruginosa.
The Moffitt Cancer Center, of Tampa, Fla., said the combination of irinotecan and gemcitabine shows promise in treating pancreatic cancer. The combination treatment, part of a 45-patient Phase II study, demonstrated a one-year survival rate of 27 percent, which is greater than reported with gemcitabine alone in previous studies of patients with advanced pancreatic cancer. Median survival in patients treated with combination therapy was 5.7 months. The findings are published in the March issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.