Albany Molecular Research Inc., of Albany, N.Y., and Nobex Corp., of Research Triangle Park, N.C., entered a collaborative research program to develop a library of Nobex polymers for use in pharmaceuticals and also in the life sciences, cosmetic, food and industrial sectors. Albany Molecular will provide Nobex with a library of more than 500 combinations of water- and fat-soluble polymers that can provide delivery advantages to pharmaceutical products, the companies said. Nobex specializes in medicinal chemistry applied to optimizing the delivery of therapeutic drugs. Financial details were not disclosed.
Applied Biosystems Group, of Foster City, Calif., an Applera Corp. business, launched the ABI Prism 3100-Avant Genetic Analyzer. The system is expected to be used by researchers engaged in fields ranging from therapeutic discovery to food safety. The analyzer is a part of Applied Biosystems’ line of capillary electrophoresis instruments for DNA analysis.
Celera Genomics Group, of Rockville, Md., an Applera Corp. business, and MetaMorphix Inc., of Savage, Md., closed the sale of Celera’s AgGen animal genomics and genotyping business to MetaMorphix. MetaMorphix also received a subscription to the Celera Discovery System and said it intends to commercialize products derived from Celera’s livestock genomic databases. Celera acquired a minority interest in MetaMorphix and is entitled to share future revenue generated from products based on Celera’s livestock databases. Financial details were not disclosed.
CereMedix Inc., of Boston, appointed Steve Parkinson chairman and CEO. Parkinson was previously CEO of TranXenoGen Inc., of Shrewsbury, Mass. CereMedix has a proteomics-based technology platform with drugs aimed at treating ischemic stroke, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and myocardial infarction, among others.
Connetics Corp., of Palo Alto, Calif., received confirmation that the FDA accepted for filing Connetics’ supplemental new drug application to expand the label claims for OLUX to include the treatment of nonscalp areas. The sNDA was submitted on Dec. 26. OLUX is approved as a treatment for steroid-responsive scalp dermatoses.
DNAPrint genomics Inc., of Sarasota, Fla., named Tony Frudakis chairman and CEO. Frudakis also is CEO and chief scientific officer of DNAPrint’s Florida subsidiary. Also, the company secured a $2 million investment from a group of private investors, including Frudakis.
Dynavax Technologies Corp., of Berkeley, Calif., at the 58th annual meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, announced positive preliminary results from a Phase II trial assessing its anti-allergy immunotherapy, AIC. AIC is made of the ragweed allergen, Amb a 1, linked to Dynavax’s 1018 immunostimulatory DNA sequence. Johns Hopkins University and the Immune Tolerance Network presented with Dynavax at the meeting.
Enchira Biotechnology Corp., of Houston, in a presentation at the Strategic Research Institute’s Protein Kinases and Phosphates in Drug Discovery and Development Conference in San Diego, described the synthesis of protein ligands that are derivatives of epidermal growth factor and the process of confirming them as antagonists of EGF receptor activation. Enchira’s CEO and president, Peter Policastro, said the presentation “reflects the company’s new business focus.” Enchira is engaged in the development of anticancer ligand proteins that block validated receptor tyrosine kinase targets implicated in certain forms of cancer.
Genaera Corp., of Plymouth Meeting, Pa., made two presentations at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology annual meeting in New York, concerning interleukin-9 blocking by antibody therapy as a new treatment strategy for asthma. Also, Genaera presented a description of the relationship of its mucoregulator target, the chloride channel hCLCA1, to allergen exposure and allergic rhinitis. The company develops medicines from genomics and natural products.
GeneMax Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Vancouver, British Columbia, appointed Julia Levy chairman of its board. Levy recently retired as president and CEO of QLT Inc., of Vancouver. While at QLT, the company recorded its strongest period of growth in its history, including FDA approval for Visudyne, a therapy to treat age-related macular degeneration.
GeneProt Inc., of North Brunswick, N.J., and Zymark Corp., of Hopkinton, Mass., entered an agreement under which Zymark is named an exclusive automation provider to GeneProt in the U.S. and Europe. Also, Zymark will make an undisclosed equity investment in GeneProt. GeneProt also granted Zymark nonexclusive licensed access to specific research discovery content for Zymark’s internal use that is not competitive with GeneProt or GeneProt’s pharmaceutical and diagnostic partners.
Hybridon Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., initiated a Phase I/II trial to study the combination of GEM 231 and irinotecan (CPT-11, Camptosar) in patients with solid tumors. GEM 231 is the first second-generation antisense product to be used in oncology patients, the company said. Phase I/II dose-escalation trials of GEM 231 in combination with Taxol or Taxotere are ongoing.
ICN Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Costa Mesa, Calif., said companies have filed abbreviated new drug applications challenging ICN’s ribavirin patents and ICN acknowledged that other challenges could come forward. ICN said it filed lawsuits against the companies and will respond similarly to other challenges. ICN said it has not licensed ribavirin to any other companies and is not obliged to do so. ICN said its patent position is “formidable” and it will “vigorously resist attempts to weaken our market position by anyone claiming otherwise.”
Interleukin Genetics Inc., of Waltham, Mass., and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Medicine are collaborating on the genetic causes of inflammation in relation to Alzheimer’s disease and to identify drug targets. Interleukin Genetics will provide gene variations and cell lines while UAMS provides technical knowledge in gene expression and models of Alzheimer’s disease. Financial details were not disclosed.
Remedyne Corp., of Santa Barbara, Calif., signed a licensing agreement with Bayer Corp., a subsidiary of Bayer AG, of Leverkusen, Germany, involving a tumor antigen carcinoembryonic antigen for use in Remedyne’s lead cancer immunotherapeutic. The antigen is expressed by a range of cancers. Remedyne obtains a license to use the gene to develop a product, RemeStim-CEA, for the U.S. oncology market. Bayer obtains an option to acquire commercialization rights to RemeStim-CEA. Financial details were not disclosed.
Samaritan Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Las Vegas, said it added three undisclosed drugs to its preclinical research pipeline. The company focuses on drugs for Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, high cholesterol, HIV and Parkinson’s disease.
Zetiq Technologies Ltd., of Rehovot, Israel, said its cell-based screening system for cancer drugs, CamaRx, yielded at least four potential drugs against colon cancer. The system has been in use for two months. CamaRx is a high-throughput solution capable of assessing the therapeutic potential of a chemical compound as a noncytotoxic cancer drug.