¿ Coley Pharmaceutical Group, of Wellesley, Mass., said company scientists and collaborators identified a new class of CpG molecule that induces a specific type of immune cell to produce high levels of interferons. A paper detailing the identification appears in the July 2001 issue of the European Journal of Immunology. The interferons induced by this new class of CpG oligonucleotides are approved worldwide for the systemic treatment of certain cancers, chronic hepatitis B and C therapy and multiple sclerosis.
¿ Cyanotech Corp., of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, initiated a new trial of BioAstin to measure its effectiveness in reducing LDL cholesterol while increasing HDL cholesterol. The double-blind, placebo-controlled study will examine 44 patients and will test whether BioAstin can beneficially alter other serum markers. BioAstin is a formulation of the microalgae, Haematococcus pluvialis.
¿ InterMune Inc., of Brisbane, Calif., said it closed its public offering of about 4.3 million shares of common stock, including 545,896 shares issued pursuant to the underwriters¿ exercise in full of their overallotment option, at a price of $32 per share. Also, it closed its public offering of 5.75 percent convertible subordinated notes, worth an aggregate amount of $149.5 million, including $19.5 million principal amount of the notes issued pursuant to the underwriters¿ overallotment. The notes are convertible into InterMune common stock at a conversion rate of about 26 shares per $1,000 principal amount, or $38.40 per share. The total amount of the offerings reached about $287 million. (See BioWorld Today, July 2, 2001.)
¿ Matritech Inc., of Newton, Mass., said it sold 331,532 shares of its common stock to Acqua Wellington North American Equities Fund Ltd. at $3.02 per share to raise $1 million. The purchase price was determined based on a small discount from the volume weighted average market price for a 20-day trading period that ended July 3. Net proceeds will be used to fund operating costs, capital expenditures and working capital needs, the company said.
¿ Novavax Inc., of Columbia, Md., said it was approved for listing on the Nasdaq National Market System, effective Tuesday. It will begin trading under the new ticker symbol, NVAX. Novavax focuses on researching, developing and commercializing products for women¿s health and infectious diseases.
¿ Sangamo BioSciences Inc., of Richmond, Calif., completed its acquisition of Gendaq Ltd., of London. Sangamo acquired all the outstanding shares of Gendaq in exchange for about 2.1 million newly issued shares of Sangamo stock. Also, Sangamo will reserve 125,352 shares of stock for options granted to Gendaq employees. In connection with the acquisition, Stephen Reeders, investment manager at the venture capital firm MVM Ltd., was appointed to Sangamo¿s board. The acquisition was originally valued at about $40 million. (See BioWorld Today, May 31, 2001.)
¿ The Speedel Group, of Basel, Switzerland, initiated a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase I study of SPP 301, an optimized endothelin A receptor antagonist. Ascending oral doses of the drug will be given to healthy male volunteers. The drug is partnered with F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd., also of Basel.
¿ Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., and Aurora Biosciences Corp., of San Diego, said the U.S. Federal Trade Commission granted clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 for Vertex¿s planned acquisition of Aurora. The transaction still needs the voted approval of Vertex and Aurora shareholders at meetings scheduled for July 18. (See BioWorld Today, May 1, 2001.)
¿ XOMA Ltd., of Berkeley, Calif., said it and certain affiliates filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, San Francisco division, against Biosite Diagnostics Inc., of San Diego. The complaint seeks monetary damages, injunctive and other relief for alleged infringement of XOMA¿s bacterial cell expression technology patents in connection with certain Biosite technologies and collaborations. The suit also seeks relief for alleged fraud and misrepresentation, breach of contract, misappropriation and unfair business practices in connection with three limited, nonexclusive licenses granted to Biosite under XOMA¿s bacterial cell expression technology. Also, XOMA filed a motion to dismiss Biosite¿s previously filed declaratory judgement action.