¿ Antisoma plc, of London, said it has strengthened its targeted apoptosis program through an agreement with the U.S. National Institutes of Health to acquire exclusive worldwide rights to use the enzyme recombinant cytotoxic RNase in combination with certain monoclonal antibodies. The company has been funding work into the combined use of antibodies and RNase at the Frederick Center Research and Development Center of the NIH since 1999. The combination has shown potential to kill isolated cancer cells. Antisoma will link the enzyme to antibodies that target PEM (polymorphic epithelial mucin) and CEA (carcino-embryonic antigen), proteins that occur on certain cancer cells.

¿ Evotec OAI, of Hamburg, Germany, appointed Dirk Horst Ehlers chief financial officer. He succeeds Joern Aldag, who was appointed CEO at Evotec as of July 1. Before joining Evotec, Ehlers was member of the management board at Fresenius Kabi AG in Bad Homburg, Germany.

¿ TranXenoGen Inc., a transgenics company based in Shrewsbury, Mass., but quoted on the Alternative Investment Market in London, announced a collaboration with Amgen Inc., of Thousand Oaks, Calif., to produce a proprietary monoclonal antibody. This is the fourth such deal for the company, which specializes in the production of pharmaceutical proteins in hen eggs.

¿ Xenova Group plc, of Slough, UK, said TA-NIC, a vaccine for the treatment of nicotine addiction, has entered Phase I clinical trials. The double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study will assess safety and immunogenicity in smokers and nonsmokers. The company said TA-NIC, which is designed to help smokers break the addiction by preventing nicotine from entering the brain, is the first anti-nicotine vaccine to enter clinical trials. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, 17 million smokers in the U.S. try to quit each year.

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