BioEnterprise Corp., of Cleveland, agreed to purchase the University West building, located in Cleveland’s University Circle area, from Case Western Reserve University. BioEnterprise will pay about $6 million for the four-story, 136,000-square-foot building, as well as a 187-car garage on more than four acres of land. BioEnterprise will use the facility as its headquarters. BioEnterprise was formed in December 2000 to accelerate the growth of the bioscience industry in Northeast Ohio.
Bioject Medical Technologies Inc., of Portland, Ore., signed an agreement with the Memorial-Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York to study the efficacy for the Biojector 2000 (B2000) on immune responses to DNA vaccines. The studies will seek to determine the cellular and molecular mechanisms responsible for the enhancement of immunogenicity associated with needle-free injection. Also, they will seek greater insight into the immune system mechanisms activated by DNA vaccines.
CancerVax Corp., of Carlsbad, Calif., said it completed its acquisition of Cell-Matrix Inc., of Los Angeles, announced earlier this month. Cell-Matrix will be retained as a wholly owned subsidiary of CancerVax. The acquisition was accomplished through a merger with a new wholly owned subsidiary of CancerVax for a combination of stock and assumption of debt. CancerVax gains access to three lead cancer-related monoclonal antibody products through the merger. Financial terms were not disclosed. (See BioWorld Today, Jan. 10, 2001.)
Celera Genomics Group, of Rockville, Md., said Oxagen Ltd., of Abingdon, UK, signed a multiyear subscription agreement to Celera’s genomic databases. Oxagen studies disease genetics, conducting programs in cardiovascular disease, inflammatory disease and metabolic and endocrine disorders. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Charles River Laboratories International Inc., of Wilmington, Mass., privately placed $175 million of senior convertible debentures, which have an annual interest rate of 3.5 percent, to be paid semiannually. The debentures, due in 2022, will be convertible into shares of Charles River’s common stock at a conversion price of $38.87, subject to adjustment in certain circumstances. Charles River has granted the initial purchasers an option to purchase up to an additional $25 million principal. Charles River intends to use proceeds from the offering to retire $79.7 million aggregate principal amount of 13.5 percent senior subordinated notes, and for general corporate purposes.
Cortex Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Irvine, Calif., and Les Laboratoires Servier, of Paris, began a two-day training meeting for clinical investigators involved in a trial for patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). The trial will evaluate the safety and efficacy of Ampakine CX516 in about 160 patients with MCI between the ages of 55 and 85. Patients will be randomized to receive placebo or Ampakine CX516 for four weeks. Enrollment in the study will begin in various countries in the first quarter, as regulatory approvals are obtained.
Ester Neurosciences Ltd., of Tel Aviv, Israel, said study results in an article published in Science provide evidence for the stress-induced accumulation of a pathological protein (AChE-R). This provides evidence for the company’s Neural Stress Response concept and its involvement in many neurological diseases, it said. Ester focuses on the discovery and development of therapeutic products for the treatment of neurological disorders.
GenoMed Inc., of St. Louis, signed a letter of intent with DW Coordinating Center to acquire Caucasian samples for 50 common serious diseases. DWCC will obtain blood samples from patients with common diseases, such as high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke and various cancers. GenoMed was founded with the purpose of translating knowledge of disease genes into better patient outcomes.
Millennium Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., and COR Therapeutics Inc., of South San Francisco, said the U.S. Federal Trade Commission granted early termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act on Jan. 14 with respect to their proposed merger. Millennium and COR announced on Dec. 6 that they had reached a final agreement for the companies to merge in a stock deal valued at $2 billion. (See BioWorld Today, Dec. 7, 2001.)
Neurocrine Biosciences Inc., of San Diego, said it saw positive efficacy results with NBI-34060 modified-release tablets in a Phase II study in 47 adult patients with primary insomnia with sleep maintenance complaints. The primary endpoint was sleep efficiency (SE), defined as total sleep time divided by eight hours, as measured objectively by polysomnography. NBI-34060-MR demonstrated a statistically significant improvement in SE relative to placebo at 30-mg, 35-mg and 40-mg dose levels (p<0.002). Neurocrine expects to initiate Phase III trials with NBI-34060-MR in the second quarter. The immediate-release formulation of NBI-34060 is in Phase III testing.
Pain Therapeutics Inc., of South San Francisco, said the Medicines Control Agency granted the company permission to initiate a clinical trial in the United Kingdom with its painkiller, PTI-801. The company said PTI-801 could be a safer form of immediate-release oxycodone, a prescription narcotic painkiller. The company plans to initiate a Phase II multidose safety and pharmacokinetic study in England in the first quarter.
Protedyne, of Windsor, Conn., introduced the BioCube System, an ultra-high-throughput automation platform. The company said the system can increase laboratory throughput by eight to 10 times across the entire discovery process.
SangStat Medical Corp., of Fremont, Calif., filed a prospectus supplement with the SEC providing for the issuance of 4 million shares, plus an additional 600,000 shares to cover overallotments. Based on Thursday’s closing price of $20.68, the sale would generate about $24.7 million, excluding overallotments. The offering is being underwritten by Merrill Lynch & Co., of New York; JPMorgan H&Q, of New York; Thomas Weisel Partners LLC, of San Francisco; and Wells Fargo Securities LLC, of San Francisco.
Third Wave Technologies Inc., of Madison, Wis., and Daiichi Pure Chemical Co. Ltd., of Tokyo, formed a collaboration under which Third Wave will develop and supply to Daiichi a series of Invader genetic analysis products for the development of personalized cancer treatments. Daiichi will use the Invader products in clinical trials to validate known associations of patient predisposition to side effects from irinotecan. Once associations are demonstrated, the companies plan to seek approval to market an Invader diagnostic product in tandem with the prescription and use of irinotecan. Financial details were not disclosed.