¿ Aerogen Inc., of Sunnyvale, Calif., said it filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California against Becton, Dickinson and Co., of Franklin Lakes, N.J. The suit alleges BD failed to perform its obligations in connection with the parties¿ agreement with respect to Aerogen¿s pulmonary insulin inhaler product. The agreement was announced in May 2000. BD was to be responsible for design, development and manufacturing of certain components of Aerogen¿s insulin inhaler, including a titration mechanism. Aerogen was to be responsible for the design, development and manufacturing of the product, obtaining a supply of insulin, conducting clinical studies and securing a marketing partner.
¿ BioTime Inc., of Berkeley, Calif., said it raised $3.5 million through a private placement of 10 percent nonconvertible debentures due Aug. 1, 2004, and warrants to a group of private investors. The company develops blood plasma volume expanders, blood replacement solutions for hypothermic surgery, organ preservation solutions, and technologies for use in surgeries and other applications.
¿ Cerylid Biosciences Ltd., of Melbourne, Australia, received a $9.9 million investment through the JBWere Private Equity Fund. Rothschild Bioscience Managers and CM Capital Investments also contributed, bringing the total new capital raised to $11 million. Cerylid Biosciences is a genomics-driven drug discovery company that combines gene discovery programs with a natural products library of close to 600,000 natural extracts. Company officials could not be reached to clarify if the funding was in U.S. or Australian dollars.
¿ DoubleTwist Inc., of Oakland, Calif., said GeneProt Inc., of Evanston, Ill., licensed DoubleTwist¿s Prophecy suite for its proteomics research. GeneProt also licensed the commercial version of the GeneCards database, distributed by DoubleTwist under an agreement with the Weizmann Institute of Sciences. Financial terms were not disclosed.
¿ Enchira Biotechnology Corp., of The Woodlands, Texas, said it received a Nasdaq staff determination indicating Enchira fails to meet the minimum bid price requirement and market value of public float requirement for continued listing. The stock is subject to delisting from the Nasdaq National Market on Aug. 29. Enchira will request a hearing before the Nasdaq Listing Qualifications Panel to review the determination.
¿ Gemin X Biotechnologies Inc., of Montreal, received a C$350,000 (US$226,929) Industrial Research Assistance Program contribution from the National Research Council of Canada. This is the second contribution the company has received for this amount. The money will be used to fund Gemin X¿s antiviral program.
¿ Gilead Sciences Inc., of Foster City, Calif., said Degussa Corp., of Parsippany, N.J., will acquire Gilead¿s 49 percent interest in Proligo LLC, a joint venture between Gilead and SKW Americas Inc., for about $14 million in cash. SKW, a subsidiary of Degussa, holds the remaining 51 percent of Proligo. The deal is expected to close Aug. 31. Gilead stands to gain an estimated $7 million to $9 million on the sale. Proligo was formed to provide nucleic acid products for genomics and genetic medicines.
¿ Lexicon Genetics Inc., of The Woodlands, Texas, said it licensed to Merck & Co. Inc., of Whitehouse Station, N.J., nonexclusive rights to its gene-targeting technologies for use in Merck¿s internal research programs. Lexicon uses gene knockout technology to define the functions of genes for the discovery of pharmaceutical products. Financial terms were not disclosed.
¿ Micrologix Biotech Inc., of Vancouver, British Columbia, appointed Jim DeMesa president and CEO. He most recently was president and CEO of GenSci Regeneration Sciences Inc., of Irvine, Calif.
¿ NeuroSearch A/S, of Ballerup, Denmark, received permission from the FDA to initiate Phase I studies for the treatment of sickle cell disease with its product, NS3728. The studies are expected to begin by mid-September, and Neuro-Search said it expects Phase II trials to begin by mid-2002. NeuroSearch owns all rights to the product and said it plans to complete clinical development without a partner.
¿ Ophidian Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Madison, Wis., finalized its merger with Hemoxymed Inc., of Charlottesville, Va. The merged company will focus on Hemoxymed¿s therapeutic process for increasing tissue oxygenation. The merger was completed through a stock-for-stock transaction ¿ Ophidian acquired all of Hemoxymed¿s outstanding stock from Hemoxymed shareholders in exchange for Ophidian¿s issuance of 19 million new, unregistered shares. (See BioWorld Today, April 18, 2001.)
¿ Rosetta Inpharmatics Inc., of Kirkland, Wash., said Europroteome AG, of Hennigsdorf, Germany, licensed the Rosetta Resolver Gene Expression Data Analysis System. The system will help Europroteome manage and analyze data from its high-throughput laboratory. Financial terms were not disclosed.
¿ Third Wave Agbio Inc., of Madison, Wis., and Dow AgroSciences LLC, of Indianapolis, said Dow adopted Third Wave¿s Invader product platform for high-volume detection of genetic variations in plants. Third Wave will develop and supply Dow with custom turnkey Invader products for the detection of single nucleotide polymorphisms and other genetic variations, as well as products for the detection and quantification of DNA sequences in genetically engineered plants. Financial terms were not disclosed.
¿ Vivus Inc., of Mountain View, Calif., said it completed patient dosing in a Phase II study of its female sexual dysfunction product, Alista. The study is being conducted to evaluate the safety and potential efficacy of topically applied Alista in subjects with female sexual arousal disorder. The company expects to initiate additional Phase II studies to evaluate Alista in the home setting. Alista is a formulation of alprostadil applied locally.