¿ Copernicus Therapeutics Inc., of Cleveland, said the size and shape of compacted DNA particles markedly influences the efficiency of targeted gene transfer to liver cells. As reported in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, receptor-mediated uptake in hematoma cells occurs only when compacted DNA particles are spherical and are smaller than 30 nm.

¿ Egea Biosciences Inc., of San Diego, said it selected the Insight II modeling software made by Accelrys Inc., a subsidiary of Pharmacopeia Inc., of Princeton, N.J. Insight II allows researchers to construct models of the complex molecular structure of proteins and to predict properties that are related to biological function, the company said. Egea applies its protein design technology to the invention of genes, proteins, pathways and bioreactors from digital genetic information.

¿ Genentech Inc., of South San Francisco, and Novartis Pharma AG, of Basel, Switzerland, said they expect to submit an amendment to the biologics license application for Xolair (omalizumab) to the FDA in the fourth quarter. The amendment will address requests for additional data made by the FDA in a complete response letter issued in July 2001. The companies expect data from ongoing trials will satisfy the requests made by the FDA. Xolair is a monoclonal antibody to IgE and is designed to target allergic asthma in adults. (See BioWorld Today, July 11, 2001.)

¿ ImmunoGen Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., presented preclinical results for trastuzumab-DM1, a tumor-activated prodrug (TAP), showing it caused complete tumor regression in HER2-positive xenograft models in mice. Also, the product demonstrated superior antitumor activity when compared to Herceptin alone. Trastuzumab-DM1 is a TAP made up of the monoclonal antibody Herceptin and the antimitotic agent DM1. In May 2000, ImmunoGen and Genentech Inc., of South San Francisco, formed an agreement worth up to $40 million, giving Genentech exclusive worldwide rights to commercialize anti-HER2-targeting products using ImmunoGen¿s maytansinoid TAP technology. Genentech said it expects to submit an investigational new drug application for the product in 2002. The data were presented at the American Association for Cancer Research-National Cancer Institute-European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer International Conference on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics in Miami Beach, Fla. (See BioWorld Today, May 5, 2000.)

¿ Microbiotix Inc., of Worcester, Mass., appointed James Kuo CEO. Previously, Kuo was vice president, business development at Metabasis Therapeutics Inc., of San Diego. Kuo also was CEO, founder and president of Discovery Laboratories Inc., of Doylestown, Pa. Microbiotix focuses on the research and development of small-molecule, anti-infective drugs.

¿ Millennium Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., said Phase I results of LDP-341 (formerly PS-341) in 10 patients with multiple myeloma showed antitumor activity and manageable side effects. One patient had myeloma protein levels that completely disappeared. Data from preclinical studies suggest that LDP-341 works by blocking proteasomes.

¿ NeoPharm Inc., of Lake Forest, Ill., said SCC-S2, a newly identified member of the FLIP family of anti-apoptotic proteins, could function as a pro-survival factor that contributes to the unregulated growth of cancer cells. NeoPharm is funding research at Georgetown University in this area. The results were presented at the American Association for Cancer Research-National Cancer Institute-European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer conference in Miami Beach, Fla.

¿ NeoTherapeutics Inc., of Irvine, Calif., said its NeoOncoRx oncology subsidiary opened enrollment for a Phase I/II study of its anticancer compound, Neoquin, in patients with early stage superficial bladder cancer. The two-part study will enroll about 25 patients, who will be treated with six weekly intravesical installations of Neoquin. The trial is being conducted at the cancer research unit of the University of Bradford in England. The first part of the study will look at dosing; the second, efficacy.

¿ Structural Bioinformatics Inc., of San Diego, said its StructureBank relational database suite for storing, manipulating and retrieving 3-D protein structures is available for IBM¿s DB2 Universal Database. StructureBank allows researchers to import protein sequences and 3-D protein structures from a number of sources, including public and private databases.

¿ Telik Inc., of South San Francisco, adopted a stockholders rights plan designed to enable all company stockholders to realize the full value of their investment in the event that an unsolicited attempt is made to acquire Telik. The move is intended to guard against abusive takeover tactics and is not in response to any particular proposal, the company said.

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