Carrington Laboratories Inc., of Irving, Texas, and the Southern Research Institute, of Birmingham, Ala., formed a partnership to assist in the commercialization of Carrington’s drug delivery technology based on the natural polymer CR1013. The polymer is being developed to deliver a variety of drug candidates for topical, oral and injectable applications. Carrington will retain all product rights plus intellectual property rights to its existing technology as well as to any discoveries made. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Chemical Diversity Labs Inc., of San Diego, signed an agreement with Novo Nordisk A/S, of Bagsvaerd, Denmark, giving Novo access to CDL’s lead-like biased combinatorial compounds libraries. CDL will supply Novo with selected compounds crafted in-house based on specific sets of CDL and Novo’s building blocks. Financial details were not disclosed.
Cypress Bioscience Inc., of San Diego, received a Nasdaq staff determination notice indicating that the company is not in compliance with the minimum tests for net tangible assets or stockholders’ equity for the Nasdaq SmallCap Market. Thus, Cypress’s securities are subject to delisting from the Nasdaq SmallCap Market. Cypress has requested a hearing to review the staff determination.
Eprogen Inc., of Darien, Ill., said it introduced a new protein-separation technology designed to more easily characterize and map protein mixtures. Called ProteoSep, it’s an all-liquid phase alternative to 1-D and 2-D gels that produce high-resolution maps of such complex protein mixtures as whole-cell lysates, tissue and sera, the company said.
Evotec OAI AG, of Hamburg, Germany, said it extended a chemical library collaboration with Serono SA, of Geneva. Evotec scientists will provide lead-optimization services and synthesize small-molecule-focused libraries exclusively for Serono’s drug discovery projects for one year. In addition to program fees of EUR2.4 million (US$2.1 million), Evotec will receive milestone payments for all patented compounds that enter clinical trials and royalties on product sales. The collaboration with Serono began in October 1998.
Infectech Inc., of Sharon, Pa., signed a testing and licensing agreement with ERBC Holdings Ltd., of Berlin. Infectech technology for early identification of tuberculosis and M. avium bacteria and the Infectech technology developed for bioterrorism defense will be evaluated and modified for manufacturing and marketing by an Israeli laboratory. Following that, ERBC has the right to acquire a license to sell Infectech technology in Europe, Russia and the Middle East for a minimum of 20 years through the purchase of $1 million in Infectech common stock through private placements. Infectech also would receive an 8 percent royalty payment, and the right to convert the payments into a joint venture owned equally with ERBC at any time.
InforMax Inc., of Bethesda, Md., and TissueInformatics Inc., of Pittsburgh, said they are collaborating to integrate quantitative tissue data with genomic data. The companies will apply quantitative histomophometric data derived from digital tissue images in conjunction with gene expression and protein function data to understand the molecular toxicological effects of pharmaceutically relevant compounds. They also will collaborate on the development and validation of software tools to integrate and analyze tissue and genomic data. On Tuesday, TissueInformatics closed a preferred stock financing in which InforMax invested $1.5 million, resulting in InforMax owning about 5 percent of the company.
MedImmune Inc., of Gaithersburg, Md., said Synagis was approved on Jan. 17 by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare. The new drug submission was given to the Japanese regulatory authority on Dec. 26, 2000. Synagis, available for the prevention of serious lower respiratory tract disease caused by respiratory syncytial virus in pediatric patients at high risk of RSV disease, received approval by the European Medicines Evaluation Agency in August 1999.
Morphochem AG, of Munich, Germany, has a new collaboration with Aventis Pharma AG, of Frankfurt, Germany, to discover and develop small molecules for a range of bacterial infections, including those caused by pathogens resistant to current therapies. The agreement was concluded with Aventis Pharma SA France, and calls for Morphochem to generate small-molecule compounds with anti-infective capability against a novel target. Aventis Pharma will provide funding for Morphochem, as well as complementary research and preclinical development. Morphochem is expected to work on a second anti-infective target selected later this year. Combined with the collaboration with Aventis Pharma Germany announced in March, Morphochem said it may receive up to $30 million in research and development and milestone payments if the collaborative projects lead to a successful launch of a drug.
OncoGenex Technologies Inc., of Vancouver, British Columbia, completed a C$3.6 million (US$2.2 million) private placement. The financing was led by BDC Venture Capital, with participation by Milestone Medica Corp., Qwest Emerging BiotechFund Ltd. and others. OncoGenex focuses on advancing and commercializing cancer therapeutics. It recently signed a deal with Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc. to co-develop OncoGenex’s lead product, OGX-011. (See BioWorld Today, Nov. 27, 2001.)
Oncolytics Biotech Inc., of Calgary, Alberta, filed a clinical trial application with Health Canada to initiate a Phase I/II trial investigating the use of Reolysin to treat patients with recurrent malignant glioma. Oncolytics said it plans to file an investigational new drug application with the FDA and then conduct the study at centers in both the United States and Canada.
Orchid BioSciences Inc., of Princeton, N.J., and Asper Biotech Ltd., of Tartu, Estonia, signed an agreement granting Asper a nonexclusive license to Orchid’s SNP-IT primer extension SNP scoring technology for use in a slide-based array format targeted to the research market. Orchid will receive an up-front payment and royalties on sales. Further financial details were not disclosed. Asper performs high-throughput genotyping and develops analytical kits for the personalized treatment of disease.
Pieris Proteolab AG, of Freising-Weihenstephan, Germany, and CytoTools GmbH, of Darmstadt, Germany, signed a deal to discover human Anticalins based on Pieris’ Anticalin technology against a number of CytoTools’ targets implicated in atherosclerosis. CytoTools will receive an exclusive license to the Anticalins developed during the collaboration and Pieris will receive milestone payments and royalties. Anticalins are engineered receptor proteins with antibody-like functions derived from lipocalins.
Sonus Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Bothell, Wash., entered a multiyear supply agreement with Indena S.p.A., of Italy, for paclitaxel, the active ingredient in Sonus’ lead cancer product, Tocosol Paclitaxel (S-8184). Tocosol is in a Phase I study and Sonus expects to initiate Phase II studies early this year. Financial details were not disclosed.
Structural GenomiX Inc., of San Diego, and RoboDesign International Inc., of Carlsbad, Calif., as part of an ongoing partnership, said they have completed and successfully operated two suites of custom-designed, patent-pending systems for storage and imaging of high-throughput crystallization trials. The RoboStorage and RoboVision systems provide Structural GenomiX with the capability to store and analyze independent crystallization experiments.
Transition Therapeutics Inc., of Toronto, and Waratah Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Nun’s Island, Quebec, said that, effective Jan. 15, 2002, the two companies had combined their businesses and operations through a plan of arrangement under the provisions of the Canada Business Corporations Act. The necessary regulatory approvals for the merger have been received and all conditions are satisfied. The new company will retain the name Transition Therapeutics Inc.
Vernalis Group plc, of London, said it completed the mutual recognition procedure for frovatriptan for the acute treatment of migraine in 14 European states. The drug was recently approved for marketing in the United States. Studies have demonstrated that frovatriptan has a presence in the bloodstream and that few migraine patients experienced a recurrence of headache within a 24-hour period of taking the drug, the company said.
Vivus Inc., of Mountain View, Calif., said its development programs for TA-1790, a phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitor licensed from Tanabe Seiyaku Co. Ltd., of Japan, to treat erectile dysfunction both orally and transurethrally, will continue. The UK Court of Appeal in London upheld a lower court’s ruling, which found New York-based Pfizer Inc.’s patent on the use of PDE inhibitors to treat erectile dysfunction to be invalid. Vivus holds patents for the use of types 3, 4 and 5 PDE inhibitors for transuretheral delivery to treat erectile dysfunction.