¿ Bioxel Pharma Inc., of Sainte-Foy, Quebec, said its shares began trading on the Canadian Venture Exchange under the ticker symbol BIP Monday. Bioxel focuses on developing, manufacturing and marketing naturally derived taxanes, substances isolated from natural sources.
¿ Clone International Pty. Ltd., of Australia, and AgResearch Ltd., of New Zealand, have agreed to exclusively license from Geron Corp., of Menlo Park, Calif., its nuclear transfer technology for use in those two countries. The rights will allow Clone and AgResearch, in partnership, to use Geron¿s nuclear transfer technology to produce superior cattle and sheep for agricultural applications in the respective countries. Geron granted Clone a nonexclusive license in December 2000, but this agreement converts the license into an exclusive form. Geron will receive a 25 percent equity interest in Clone International and a share of Clone¿s future revenues.
¿ ComGenex Inc., of Budapest, Hungary, said it launched a target-focused library series, Activerse. The first library in the series, MDR, targets MDR1/MRP1 efflux pumps to reverse multidrug resistance and enhance blood-brain barrier permeability. ComGenex is a drug discovery chemistry provider.
¿ Degussa AG, of D|sseldorf, Germany, said it is examining alternatives to the planned initial public offering (IPO) of the biopharmaceutical company Zentaris AG, of Frankfurt, Germany. In June, Zentaris¿ IPO was postponed due to a weak stock market environment. Degussa owns all of Zentaris¿ shares. An IPO is still Degussa¿s preferred option for Zentaris, but it also is studying other moves, such as sale to a strategic or financial investor, Degussa said. Degussa will examine all options without any time pressure, the company¿s spokeswoman Hannelore Gantzer said, adding, that desinvestment in Zentaris would be on schedule by the end of the year. Genzyme Corp., of Cambridge, Mass., in May agreed to acquire a 5 percent stake in Zentaris, worth up to $14.2 million, if Zentaris went public by Aug. 31.
¿ Forbes Medi-Tech Inc., of Vancouver, British Columbia, and the University of British Columbia were awarded an approximate $280,000 collaborative research grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to study the mechanism of action of sterol-based pharmaceuticals on cholesterol absorption with a focus on Forbes¿ phytosterol analogue, FM-VP4, and related compounds. The primary focus of the estimated three-year research project, which is expected to have a total cost of up to $1 million, is to identify the mechanisms of action by which phytosterols and phytosterol analogues inhibit cholesterol absorption and help prevent cardiovascular disease.
¿ GeneScan Europe AG, of Freiburg, Germany, said its GMO (genetically modified organisms) chip would be distributed by Scil Diagnostics GmbH, of Martinsried, Germany. GeneScan developed the chip for analysis of substances derived from genetically modified organisms in raw materials, foodstuffs and animal feed. The chip provides results of a total of 14 separate analyses, making analysis cheaper and faster, GeneScan said, adding that it is the first GMO chip worldwide.
¿ Genzyme Canada Inc., of Mississauga, Ontario, signed a three-year exclusive agreement with Theramed Corp., a subsidiary of Meta Health Services Inc., of Vancouver, British Columbia, to jointly market Genzyme¿s Thyrogen (thyrotropin alfa for injection) recombinant thyroid-stimulating hormone following Canadian regulatory approval, anticipated during the fourth quarter of this year. Theramed, which will receive royalties based on predetermined sales levels, is a marketer of thyroid medications to Canadian endocrinologists. The proposed indication for Thyrogen is for use in evaluating patients for thyroid cancer metastases. Genzyme Canada is a wholly owned subsidiary of Cambridge, Mass.-based Genzyme Corp.
¿ Hybrigenics SA, of Paris, said its computational approach for predicting cellular protein interactions across whole organisms, called the Interaction-Domain Pair Profile method, was presented at the 9th International Conference of Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology in Copen-hagen, Denmark. The method allows researchers to predict the interaction map of a target organism based on the analysis of a similar map determined experimentally.
¿ Kyowa Hakko Kogyo Co. Ltd., of Tokyo, has selected a telomerase inhibitor compound, GRN163, from Geron Corp., of Menlo Park, Calif., for development as an anticancer drug. The compound is a short, modified oligonucleotide designed as a telomerase template antagonist. In vivo studies in rodents demonstrated activity against human malignant glioblastoma. Kyowa has marketing rights for certain Asian countries. Geron otherwise holds worldwide rights.
¿ Oncolytics Biotech Inc., of Calgary, Alberta, said that Patrick Lee and his researchers at the University of Calgary concluded studies in animal models, successfully demonstrating the systemic administration of Reolysin for the treatment of cancer. The effort complements initial work presented at the American Association of Cancer Research meeting in 2001. Reolysin is designed to infect and kill cancer cells with an activated Ras pathway.
¿ Pyrosequencing AB, of Uppsala, Sweden, sold its high-throughput PTP system to Oxagen Ltd., of Abingdon, UK. Oxagen will use the PTP system to study the genetics of diseases. PTP ¿ Preferred Technology Program ¿ is a fully automated high-throughput process that incorporates robotics for sample preparation. Financial details were not disclosed.
¿ Qiagen NV, of Venlo, the Netherlands, entered into a technology access and evaluation agreement with Bayer AG, of Leverkusen, Germany. Under the terms of the agreement, Bayer will gain limited access to the ZeptoGene Workstation technology platform, Qiagen said. The Planar Waveguide (PWG) Technology underlying the workstation allows the use of minimal sample amounts for analysis of the differential expression pattern of genes that are expressed at very low levels, Qiagen said. Financial terms were not disclosed. Separately, Qiagen said it had entered into a distribution and service agreement with Genicon Sciences Corp., of San Diego. Qiagen acquired exclusive distribution rights for self-spotted microarray toolkit products incorporating Genicon¿s RLS (Resonance Light Scattering) Technology. Financial terms were not disclosed.