¿ Antisoma plc, of London, in-licensed DMXAA, a vascular targeting agent, from Cancer Research Ventures Ltd., of London. The product has completed two Phase I studies. In preclinical studies, DMXAA was seen to control the growth of tumors in animal models when used in combination with a number of anticancer agents. Antisoma now has four products in clinical development.
¿ Cellectis SA, of Paris, signed a worldwide license with Zentaris AG, of Frankfurt, Germany, giving Zentaris rights to patents covering single long terminal repeats (sLTR), a technology for gene transfer. Zentaris will use the technology to improve its existing gene therapies for cancer, including colorectal cancer, brain and throat tumors.
¿ Chiron Corp., of Emeryville, Calif., and Medivir AB, of Stockholm, Sweden, started a collaboration centered on hepatitis C virus infections in which compound libraries from Medivir will be screened in Chiron¿s HCV assays. For one year, the validation of potential hits and their use in the investigation of the structure-activity relationship will be performed, after which Chiron may choose to continue the collaboration by providing additional support. Chiron has an option to secure exclusive global commercialization rights and could pay license and potential milestone fees to Medivir totaling more than $10 million. Medivir also could receive royalties.
¿ Exelixis Inc., of South San Francisco, said it achieved additional milestones in its collaboration with Leverkusen, Germany-based Bayer AG¿s crop protection division through the delivery of assays by their joint venture, Genoptera LLC. The delivery of the assays triggered undisclosed milestones to Exelixis. The joint venture was formed in January 2000. (See BioWorld Today, Jan. 12, 2000.)
¿ Galapagos Genomics NV, of Leiden, the Netherlands, and the Flanders Interuniversity Institute of Biotechnology (VIB) announced a collaboration to identify and validate novel drug targets against Alzheimer¿s disease. The collaboration combines Galapagos¿ PhenoSelect gene function discovery platform with VIB¿s knowledge of Alzheimer¿s disease. Genes identified by Galapagos that modulate the gamma-secretase activity will be further validated as potential drugs or targets by Galapagos and a group from VIB. Financial terms were not disclosed.
¿ Incara Pharmaceuticals Corp., of Research Triangle Park, N.C., closed its public offering of common stock and warrants, receiving about $7 million in gross proceeds. Incara sold about 4.3 million shares of common stock and warrants to purchase about 1 million shares. Also, it issued a warrant to purchase 48,902 shares to Petkevich & Partners LLC, of San Francisco, the placement agent that assisted Incara in the sale. Investors in the financing included Deerfield Capital Management, of New York, and Merlin BioMed Asset Management, also of New York.
¿ LION bioscience AG, of Heidelberg, Germany, said Genomics Collaborative Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., licensed LION¿s SRS platform to access GCI¿s databases of extensive patient clinical and sample information as well as public biological data sources via one portal. Integrating clinical data with sequence and other biological information is a key point of pharmacogenomics, LION said. Financial terms were not disclosed.
¿ Metabasis Therapeutics Inc., of San Diego, was awarded a $156,115 Phase I grant by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the NIH. The grant, titled ¿Live-Targeted Prodrugs for the Treatment of Hepatitis B,¿ will support the synthesis and characterization of novel prodrugs of various known antiviral nucleosides.
¿ RegeneRx Biopharmaceuticals Inc., of Bethesda, Md., entered a materials transfer agreement with the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas to explore the role of thymosin beta 4 (Tb4) in the cardiac field. The company will provide quantities of Tb4, as well as certain know-how and data, to the university for certain research and development. In return, the company may use any invention or discovery for internal research purposes and retains an option to negotiate an exclusive, worldwide, royalty-bearing license for commercialization. Tb4 is a synthetic version of a natural peptide found throughout the body and in highest concentrations in blood platelets.
¿ ViroLogic Inc., of South San Francisco, said its shareholders approved the second portion of a $16.25 million private placement. The first portion, totaling about $6.7 million, closed July 2. The company expects to meet all the remaining contingencies and receive the second installment in early September.
¿ Vivalis, of Nantes, France, signed a research agreement covering a joint research program with Aventis Pasteur, of Strasbourg, France, in the field of avian embryonic stem cells. The program will allow an assessment of the ability of stem cells to be used in vaccine production. Financial terms were not disclosed.