¿ Adaptive Screening Ltd. was spun out of Imperial College Innovations, of London, in collaboration with The Generics Group and the University of Glasgow. The company¿s approach to identifying and rationalizing drug candidates, also called Adaptive Screening, is based on patented core technology platforms stemming from research at Imperial, Glasgow and Generics. Generics is providing technical assistance, as well as initial funding, facilities and management.
¿ AxCell Biosciences, a subsidiary of Cytogen Corp., of Princeton, N.J., said it began a new initiative to expand the utility of its Genetic Diversity Library, Cloning of Ligand Targets and affinity screening technologies by generating and evaluating specific protein pathway information to aid in the development of new drugs.
¿ EntreMed Inc., of Rockville, Md., said an article on how recombinant human Endostatin blocks the angiogenesis that supports tumor growth by binding to tropomyosin, a protein involved in cellular movement, was published in the July/August issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry. EntreMed scientists conducted the study, with Nicholas MacDonald as primary author.
¿ Genzyme Transgenics Corp., of Framingham, Mass., said that Fresenius AG, of Bad Homburg, Germany, exercised an option to gain additional rights to market recombinant human serum albumin (rhSA) in North America and Asia, excluding Japan. Fresenius is obtaining these rights for $3.8 million in accordance with terms of the companies¿ March 1997 agreement. Fresenius already has similar marketing rights to rhSA in Europe and retains an option to secure additional marketing rights in Japan.
¿ ICN Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Costa Mesa, Calif., closed its previously announced offering of $400 million in convertible subordinated notes. The notes, with an interest rate of 6.5 percent, are convertible into common shares at about $34.25 per share. More proceeds would be realized if underwriters exercise their overallotment option. (See BioWorld Today, July 16, 2001.)
¿ InterMune Inc., of Brisbane, Calif., said it board approved the adoption of a stockholder rights plan, designed to enable all of InterMune¿s stockholders to realize the full value of their investment and to provide for fair and equal treatment for all stockholders in the event of an unsolicited takeover attempt. The adoption of the plan is not a response to any particular proposal, the company said.
¿ Lynx Therapeutics Inc., of Hayward, Calif., said it extended its technology licensing agreement with BASF-LYNX Bioscience AG, a joint venture established in Heidelberg, Germany, by Lynx and BASF AG, of Ludwigshafen, Germany, in 1996. The license extends BASF-LYNX¿s right to use Lynx¿s Massively Parallel Signature Sequencing and Megasort technologies nonexclusively in BASF-LYNX¿s neuroscience, toxicology and microbiology programs until Dec. 31, 2007. BASF-LYNX will pay Lynx a multimillion-dollar technology license fee, while receiving Megaclone technology microbeads, other reagents and additional MPSS technology instruments. No other financial terms were disclosed. The original collaboration was valued at $12.5 million. (See BioWorld Today, Oct. 7, 1999.)
¿ MediChem Life Sciences Inc., of Chicago, saw its stock (NASDAQ:MCLS) fall $1.90 Wednesday, or 48.7 percent, to $2 after reporting earnings guidance below expectations. It said contract revenues for the second quarter were expected to be $4.6 million to $4.8 million. MediChem¿s CEO said the drug discovery technology and services company¿s weakness in new contracts reflects postponed outsourcing decisions by pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. He also said investment in the company¿s structural proteomics division in the second quarter should put the company in a better position for future growth.
¿ Myriad Genetics Inc., of Salt Lake City, said its board adopted a stockholder rights plan. It said it is implementing the plan to ensure all Myriad stockholders receive fair and equal treatment in the event of any unsolicited attempt to acquire Myriad. It said it has no knowledge of any such attempt.
¿ Nastech Pharmaceutical Co. Inc., of Hauppauge, N.Y., said it demonstrated the preferential uptake of intranasally administered Apomorphine directly into the cerebral spinal fluid in a Phase I study. The trial was initiated in May, was single dose, open label and involved 12 healthy males. The company said the results of the trial indicate certain drugs via nasal administration may be deposited directly into the cerebral spinal fluid, bypassing the blood-brain barrier.
¿ NeoPharm Inc., of Lake Forest, Ill., collaborating with Georgetown University, said it discovered a molecular target (SCC-S2) for cancer therapy that appears to play a role in growth regulation of cancer cells. NeoPharm said it intends to use its NeoLipid platform to deliver a molecule that downregulates the SCC-S2 expression in tumors, and plans to submit an investigational new drug application in the area.
¿ Octagen Corp., of Bala Cynwyd, Pa., said the National Institutes of Health awarded it a Small Business Innovation Research Phase II grant to support development of Octagen¿s second-generation factor VIII product for hemophilia A. Octagen is eligible to receive up to $825,000 over the two-year term of the grant.
¿ Oncolytics Biotech Inc., of Calgary, Alberta, said Patrick Lee, professor in the department of oncology at the University of Calgary, demonstrated the potential use of a genetically engineered form of the herpes simplex virus in killing certain cancer cells. The research is being published in the August edition of Nature Cell Biology.
¿ SafeScience Inc., of Boston, said Nasdaq determined SafeScience has complied with the net tangible assets/market capitalization/net income requirement and all other requirements necessary for continued listing on the Nasdaq SmallCap Market. Thus, SafeScience¿s oral hearing, originally scheduled for today, has been canceled and the hearing file has been closed.
¿ Seattle Genetics Inc., of Bothell, Wash., entered an agreement to license certain monoclonal antibodies that target cancer and immunological disease from CLB-Research and Development, based in the Netherlands. Seattle Genetics will have development, manufacturing and worldwide commercialization rights to therapeutic products derived from the antibodies. It will evaluate the antibodies as therapeutic agents alone, as well as apply its antibody-drug conjugate technology to increase their potency.
¿ SuperGen Inc., of Dublin, Calif., said chemotherapy-resistant ovarian and colon cancer cells that were treated with decitabine in preclinical studies became more sensitive to chemotherapy treatment. The studies were performed at the Beatson Laboratories at Glasgow University in Scotland and data were presented at the Genomic Regulation and Cancer Conference, also in Glasgow. Decitabine is in Phase III clinical trials for the treatment of advanced myelodysplastic syndrome and the company said it expects to begin a Phase I clinical study for chemotherapy-resistant ovarian and colon cancers before the end of the year.
¿ Synaptic Pharmaceutical Corp., of Paramus, N.J., said its scientists discovered a family of G protein-coupled receptors for a group of natural (endogenous) chemical messengers, called trace amines. The news was reported in the July 17, 2001, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences online Early Edition. The discovery will also be published in the July 31 print version of the same journal. The research team, led by Beth Borowsky, found 15 related receptors in three species of mammals, including four receptors that are expressed in humans.
¿ Third Wave Agbio Inc., of Madison, Wis., and ValiGen Inc., of San Diego, entered a deal in which Third Wave Agbio will develop and supply custom-designed Invader assays to ValiGen, which will use the platform to analyze genetic variations, introduced by Valigen's Genoplasty technology, in several plant species. Genoplasty induces the cellular DNA repair system to make site-specific DNA sequence changes without integrating foreign DNA. Terms were not disclosed.