¿ AltaRex Corp., of Waltham, Mass., said it issued 3 million common shares upon the exercise of special warrants, priced at C$2.80 (US$1.83) and sold in a private placement that closed on June 6. The net proceeds of C$7.9 million are being used primarily for the continued funding of OvaRex MAb, its product for the treatment of advanced ovarian cancer.
¿ Amarin Corp. plc, of London, entered a partnership with Elan Corp. plc, of Dublin, Ireland, to establish a franchise in the therapeutic area of Parkinson¿s disease. Amarin gains exclusive U.S. marketing, sales and distribution rights to Permax (pergolide mesylate) tablets, already on the market as a therapy for Parkinson¿s disease. Also, Amarin entered an option agreement with Elan to acquire the U.S. rights to Zelapar (Zydis selegiline), a fast-dissolving, novel formulation of selegiline tablets, in late-stage development for the treatment of Parkinson¿s. Financial details were not disclosed.
¿ Aviron Inc., of Mountain View, Calif., saw its stock (NASDAQ:AVIR) fall $13.59 Monday, or about 33 percent, to close at $27.21. The drop followed the meeting Friday of the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee of the FDA, which had concerns about the safety of Aviron¿s nasal flu vaccine product, FluMist. That decision means the company would not sell the product this upcoming flu season, which was the best-case scenario, but would have to wait until at least the 2002-03 flu season. Trading on the stock was held Thursday and Friday. (See BioWorld Today, July 30, 2001.)
¿ BioVex Ltd., of London, completed a #10 million (US$14.2 million) private placement. The placement was led by Technomark Medical Ventures. Other investors included The Merlin Biosciences Fund LP, Westdeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale and GeneChem Management of Montreal. The proceeds will be used to advance BioVex¿s lead programs, OncoVEX GM-CSF and ImmunoVEX tri-melan, into clinical development and to fund Phase I trials.
¿ Boston Probes Inc., of Bedford, Mass., entered a license and supply agreement with Diazyme Laboratories, a subsidiary of General Atomics, of La Jolla, Calif., for the development of single nucleotide polymorphism detection products that use peptide nucleic acid (PNA) technology. The terms of the license agreement allow Diazyme to develop and market worldwide two PNA-based specific SNP kits to test for human blood coagulation disorders. Diazyme will introduce Factor V Leiden and MTHFR C667T test kits at Clin Lab Expo 2001, the annual meeting of the American Association of Clinical Chemists in Chicago, which runs through Aug. 2.
¿ Cardiome Pharma Corp., of Vancouver, British Columbia, said it completed a Phase I trial demonstrating the safety of RSD1235, its lead drug being developed for acute atrial arrhythmia. The results showed the product to be safe and well tolerated and no significant adverse events were observed. Cardiome said it plans to initiate a Phase II efficacy study in the fourth quarter.
¿ Genomic Solutions Inc., of Ann Arbor, Mich., said it will develop proteomics software with ProteoMetrics Inc., of New York. The companies will create a bioinformatic product integrating Genomic Solutions¿ Investigator Protein Warehouse data integration software with ProteoMetrics¿ Radars system for mass spectrometry data analysis. Genomic Solutions also will distribute ProteoMetrics¿ existing software products and Genomic Solutions has a first right of refusal to acquire ProteoMetrics. Financial terms were not disclosed.
¿ GPC Biotech AG, of Munich, Germany, and MorphoSys AG, also of Munich, achieved a preclinical milestone in GPC¿s immunology antibody program for the treatment of transplant rejection in graft-vs.-host disease. GPC showed that the human antibody generated and optimized by MorphoSys from its proprietary HuCAL library has in vivo efficacy in a transgenic animal model. The milestone triggers an undisclosed payment to MorphoSys.
¿ Hybridon Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., said it completed its program to exchange its Series B preferred stock and several classes of its warrants into common stock. All holders of the Series B stock have exchanged their securities for 19,117,750 shares of common stock. Holders of warrants priced between 60 cents and $2.40 and below have exchanged their warrants for 4,591,714 shares of common stock. Also, $332,340 in 8 percent notes were exchanged for 830,849 shares of common stock. In all, Hybridon will be issuing about 24.5 million new shares of common stock. Separately, Hybridon appointed Stephen Seiler CEO, effective Sept. 1, and elected him to its board. Seiler previously served as executive vice president, planning investment and development at Elan Corp. plc, of Dublin, Ireland.
¿ Infigen Inc., of Deforest, Wis., said it cloned the first lamb in North America, born July 22. The female, named ¿Pickles,¿ is in excellent health, the company said, and her birth makes Infigen the only organization in North America to have cloned three different species of farm animals. It has cloned dairy and beef cattle as well as domestic pigs. Infigen used newly developed proprietary procedures to produce five embryos from 25 enucleated eggs.
¿ MDS Proteomics Inc., of Toronto, added its PepSea technology, a tool for protein identification, to its bioinformatics technology platform. PepSea provides researchers with the tools to identify expressed proteins directly in the human genome using mass spectrometric data. With the implementation the company said it has the ability to identify drug targets faster.
¿ Paratek Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Boston, said its collaboration with a team of structural biologists led by James Head at the Boston University School of Medicine published a completed crystal structure for the E. coli MarR protein in the August issue of Nature Structural Biology. MarR and other related proteins regulate a series of bacterial functions, including resistance to multiple antibiotics.
¿ Peregrine Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Tustin, Calif., signed a joint development agreement with Oakwood Laboratories LLC, of Oakwood Village, Ohio. The companies will jointly evaluate therapeutic agents that combine Peregrine¿s tumor necrosis therapy (TNT) tumor-targeting technology with Oakwood¿s anticancer liposome technology. Peregrine will provide TNT antibodies and Oakwood will provide liposomes and preclinical testing services. At the completion of preclinical testing, the companies will decide whether to advance the potential products into the clinic under a commercialization agreement. Financial terms were not disclosed.
¿ Tanox Inc., of Houston, said its board adopted a rights plan designed to protect company stockholders from coercive or unfair takeover techniques. The company said the adoption of the rights plan is not in response to any accumulation of shares or hostile takeover attempt.
¿ Trinity Medical Group USA Inc., of Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., filed a new drug application with the governing health authorities in Thailand for its HIV-1 Immunogen product, known as Remune. The NDA was filed by its Thai affiliates and has been submitted for the use of Remune as a primary treatment for HIV. Some of the application components were supplied by The Immune Response Corp., of Carlsbad, Calif.
¿ Zyomyx Inc., of Hayward, Calif., entered a supply and collaboration agreement with BD Biosciences, of San Diego. BD Biosciences will make available its antibody library to facilitate the development of Zyomyx¿s high-density protein biochips. BD Biosciences will develop, manufacture and supply antibodies for Zyomyx¿s research platform. Financial terms were not disclosed.