¿ BioMS Medical Corp., of Edmonton, Alberta, said researchers at the University of Alberta have completed the 42-month Phase II trial involving the MBP8298 treatment for chronic progressive multiple sclerosis. The company said it expects to begin the next phase of trials in the first part of next year. Data were not released.
¿ Cel-Sci Corp., of Vienna, Va., presented a poster at the AIDS Vaccine 2001 Conference in Philadelphia that showed evidence of cellular immune responses and recognition of different strains of the AIDS virus. The poster was titled ¿C Clade HGP-30-Based Peptide Conjugates as Potential Therapeutic and Prophylactic HIV-1 Vaccine Antigens.¿ The immunotherapeutic agent (L.E.A.P.S. conjugate) combines a peptide sequence representing a region of the HIV-1 core protein, p17, with a peptide designed to induce a cellular immune response against the HIV peptide.
¿ Corixa Corp., of Seattle, and GlaxoSmithKline plc, of London, said they have submitted the final responses to information requested by the FDA in its complete review letter received March 16, regarding the biologics license application for Bexxar. The companies are seeking marketing approval of Bexxar for the treatment of relapsed or refractory low-grade or transformed low-grade non-Hodgkin¿s lymphoma. (See BioWorld Today, March 20, 2001.)
¿ Emisphere Technologies Inc., of Tarrytown, N.Y., presented data at its Investor Day, held at The Plaza Hotel in New York, from three Phase I studies evaluating two of its proprietary drug delivery agents for the oral delivery of insulin. The data demonstrated absorption from the gastrointestinal tract with oral formulations of insulin, as well as reductions in blood glucose levels.
¿ Enchira Biotechnology Corp., of The Woodlands, Texas, said it repurchased about 1.08 million shares of common stock from several stockholders whose shares were managed by OrbiMed Advisors LLC, of New York. The stock was sold to allow OrbiMed to benefit from certain tax advantages and was acquired by Enchira at a discount to the current market price in a privately negotiated transaction.
¿ Epimmune Inc., of San Diego, said at the AIDS Vaccine 2001 Conference in Philadelphia that it expects to file an investigational new drug application for its therapeutic HIV vaccine in the first quarter of 2002. Pending FDA review, trials could begin about one month later, the company said. Its HIV vaccine candidate is composed of cytotoxic T-cell epitopes.
¿ Iguazu Biosciences Corp., of San Francisco, said during the AIDS Vaccine 2001 Conference in Philadelphia that it was formed to pursue research, manufacturing and clinical development of HIV vaccines. The company has exclusively licensed a patent covering technologies and products developed at the University of California at San Francisco. The company¿s strategy is to use cocktails of live attenuated RNA viruses as vectors to express libraries of antigens of other viruses.
¿ InforMax Inc., of Bethesda, Md., released Version 7.0 of Vector NTI Suite, an integrated sequence analysis and data management desktop software package for molecular biology and genomics research. Separately, it released Xpression NTI, a desktop application for the analysis of gene expression data.
¿ Merck KgaA, of Darmstadt, Germany, and the Massachusetts General Hospital, of Boston, identified the full structure of an integrin receptor. The receptor plays a role in the control of biological processes and diseases, including cancer, rheumatism and inflammation. The companies collaborated for five years on the project. The findings were published on the Science Express web site, the company said.
¿ Micrologix Biotech Inc., of Vancouver, British Columbia, appointed David Scott as chairman of its board, replacing the retired William Foran, who will remain a director. Also, Steven Gillis, Colin Mallet, Kenneth Galbraith and Robert Rieder were re-elected to the board.
¿ Neoprobe Corp., of Dublin, Ohio, entered into a memorandum of understanding with Biosonix Ltd., of Hod Hasharon, Israel, to acquire all its outstanding shares. Biosonix has developed an angle-independent Dual Beam Flow technology that allows surgeons and other medical personnel to noninvasively measure in real time the volume of blood flowing in the vascular circulation as well as a range of hemodynamic parameters. Neoprobe will issue about 11.8 million shares to acquire all the shares of Biosonix. Neoprobe¿s stock (OTCBB:NEOP) opened Friday at 44 cents, valuing the deal at about $5.2 million. The company pre-deal had about 23 million shares outstanding.
¿ NeoTherapeutics Inc., of Irvine, Calif., said its cancer subsidiary, NeoOncoRx Inc., acquired the worldwide rights to develop and market satraplatin (JM-216) from Johnson Matthey plc, of London. Satraplatin is a platinum derivative similar to cisplatin and carboplatin. Platinum derivatives are used to treat a range of cancers. Data from previous clinical studies with satraplatin show efficacy in treating prostate cancer. NeoOncoRx said it intends to initiate Phase III studies for prostate cancer in early 2002.
¿ Oxxon Pharmaccines Ltd., of Oxford, UK, appointed Deirdre Gillespie CEO. Gillespie was formerly chief operating officer at Vical Inc., of San Diego, where she also was executive vice president and chief business officer.
¿ ViroLogic Inc., of South San Francisco, said an enhanced version of its PhenoSense HIV drug resistance assay can measure the potential effectiveness of AIDS vaccines in development faster, more efficiently and more consistently that current methods. The company presented research supporting this claim at the AIDS Vaccines 2001 Conference in Philadelphia.
¿ ProCorde GmbH, of Martinsried, Germany, and Aventis Pharma Deutschland GmbH, a unit of Aventis SA, of Frankfurt, Germany, signed a two-year cooperation agreement to identify new therapeutic target proteins for the development of pharmaceuticals for heart and vascular diseases. Ten candidates will be validated in the joint cooperation. If the influence on the course of disease by these candidate genes is proved, Aventis Pharma will find and optimize corresponding specific and effective small-molecule substances. ProCorde will receive a basic fee as well as potential milestones.
¿ QLT Inc., of Vancouver, British Columbia, and Novartis Ophthalmics, of Atlanta, filed Visudyne therapy with the European Medicines Evaluation Agency for marketing clearance in the European Union for the treatment of occult subfoveal choroidal neovascularization secondary to wet age-related macular degeneration. The submission is based on two-year results from a Phase III trial showing Visudyne has a treatment benefit in AMD patients with occult CNV. Visudyne is approved in 50 countries for the treatment of predominantly classic subfoveal CNV caused by AMD.
¿ Vaxin Inc., of Birmingham, Ala., received a $3.5 million award from a federal appropriation from the Department of Defense bill to establish a research laboratory at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The company also has received a $69,700 Small Business Innovation Research grant to develop a DNA needleless vaccine to fight dengue fever and a $282,625 grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to develop a patch for tetanus. Vaxin is a vaccine delivery company with a patented noninvasive technology for applying vaccines onto the surface of the skin.
¿ Xenon Genetics Inc., of Vancouver, British Columbia, said its research team and researchers from Pfizer Inc., of New York, up-regulated the gene (ABCA1) responsible for regulating levels of HDL cholesterol in vivo. The finding appeared in the Sept. 7 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry. The finding provides proof of principle that drugs that increase ABCA1 activity in humans may raise HDL cholesterol levels, the company said.