¿ Gene Logic Inc., of Gaithersburg, Md., said Pfizer Inc., of New York, opted to extend its subscription to the ToxExpress Module of GeneExpress, making the total subscription term five years. Financial details of the multiyear extension were not disclosed.
¿ Hollis-Eden Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Diego, received approval to initiate a Phase II trial in hepatitis B-infected patients with the company¿s lead investigational drug, HE2000. The study will evaluate HE2000¿s safety, tolerability and clinical and biological effects. The company also said it began dosing with HE2000 in several malaria-infected patients in a Phase II trial in Thailand.
¿ Incyte Genomics Inc., of Palo Alto, Calif., said it was selected by three universities and a major research facility in the United Kingdom to carry out a large-scale sequencing project on chicken genes. The undertaking, called the Chicken Sequencing Project, is funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council. Scientists from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology, the University of Nottingham, the University of Dundee and the Roslin Institute will direct the project. Separately, Incyte said it awarded its 3rd Annual $100,000 Discovery Grant to Craig Cary and David Shin.
¿ International Therapeutics Inc., of Seattle, said it raised more than $2 million in its Series B financing from private investors. The financing closed Aug. 22. Proceeds from the offering are expected to allow International Therapeutics to advance its lead compound against HIV-1 into Phase I trials, the company said.
¿ IntraBiotics Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Mountain View, Calif., presented positive data from a Phase IIa study of its antibiotic, iseganan hydrochloride oral solution. The multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled study was designed to test iseganan for the reduction of oral bacteria as an approach to preventing ventilator-associated pneumonia. The first dose resulted in an immediate 10-fold decrease in the mean oral microbial burden compared with negligible reductions for patients receiving placebo (p=0.01). Continued dosing with iseganan, six times daily over five days, resulted in a cumulative decrease in bacteria of more than 1,000-fold compared to a decrease of less than 10-fold in placebo patients, the company said.
¿ Medicure Inc., of Winnipeg, Manitoba, reported that preclinical studies showed the protective effect of drug candidate MC-1 in reducing damage associated with ischemic stroke. MC-1 reduced the size of the damaged region in the brain and preserved neurological function in a rat model of embolic focal ischemia. Preliminary studies also indicate that beneficial effect may be obtained with treatment several hours after the onset of ischemia, and that a combination of MC-1 and tissue plasminogen activator also is an effective treatment.
¿ Millennium Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., completed enrollment of a Phase II trial of LDP-341 (formerly PS-341) in patients with multiple myeloma. LDP-341 is a small-molecule proteasome inhibitor being developed for several forms of hematologic and solid tumor cancers. The multicenter trial, which began in February, is an open-label study of LDP-341 alone or in combination with dexamethasone. The accrual was completed ahead of schedule and the trial has been extended to capture additional data. The most current data will be presented in December at the American Society of Hematology meeting.
¿ Nastech Pharmaceutical Company Inc., of Hauppauge, N.Y., began a Phase I trial in the U.S. to evaluate the nasal administration of somatropin (recombinant human growth hormone). The study is designed to testsomatropin¿s nasal absorption, tolerance and safety in healthy volunteers.
¿ NeoPharm Inc., of Lake Forest, Ill., initiated Phase I/II trials for Liposome Encapsulated Mitoxantrone (LEM) in cancer, and said the first patient completed the initial dose. LEM is one of four products in clinical development at NeoPharm using its NeoLipid drug delivery system. That system uses the company¿s novel lipids and methods to deliver drugs, such as mitoxantrone, into cancer cells.
¿ Pain Therapeutics Inc., of South San Francisco, said a preliminary analysis of a Phase II trial with PTI-555 showed the primary endpoint of pain relief was achieved with a high degree of statistical significance against both morphine (p<0.01) and placebo (p<0.001). The double-blind, placebo-controlled trial enrolled 210 patients with moderate to severe pain. Immediately following oral surgery, patients received a single dose of PTI-555, morphine or placebo.
¿ SangStat Medical Corp., of Fremont, Calif., reported that more than half of allogeneic transplant recipients with steroid-resistant graft-vs.-host disease (GVHD) treated with at least four infusions of the anti-CD147 monoclonal antibody ABX-CBL demonstrated a complete or partial response in a Phase II study. Results appear in the current issue of Blood. Of the 51 patients receiving at least four infusions, 26 (51 percent) responded. Thirteen posted complete responses as assessed by investigators using the International Bone Marrow Transplant Registry index. Of the 59 total patients enrolled in the trial, 26 (44 percent) were alive six months after the start of ABX-CBL therapy. The product is partnered with Abgenix Inc., of Fremont.
¿ TheraMed Inc., of Rockville, Md., changed its name to MaxCyte. The private company develops therapeutic products based on its gemocytic cell-loading technology platform. MaxCyte is majority owned by EntreMed Inc., of Rockville.
¿ Valent BioSciences Corp., of Libertyville, Ill., licensed the DeVine biological herbicide to Encore Technologies, of Minneapolis. The agreement gives Encore rights to manufacture and market DeVine herbicide, a product that controls milkweed vine in citrus crops. DeVine was the first biological herbicide registered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It is produced through a fermentation process. Financial terms were not disclosed.