¿ Arius Research Inc., of Toronto, said it signed an agreement with QualTek Molecular Laboratories, of Santa Barbara, Calif., to conduct target validation studies for Arius¿ cancer-killing antibodies, AR460-23 and AR5LAC-20. QualTek focuses on target validation for normal and diseased human and animal tissues. Arius focuses on the discovery, development and delivery of drugs for individual therapy. Financial terms were not disclosed.

¿ Bioniche Life Sciences Inc., of Belleville, Ontario, completed its C$10 million (US$6.6 million) private warrants placement. The company finished the second tranche of the financing, a C$4 million placement. Proceeds will be used to continue development of MCC, the company¿s technology for the treatment of bladder cancer, and to develop the company¿s E. coli cattle vaccine, as well as for general corporate purposes. The warrants were offered at C$3.05 per warrant, and each warrant is exercisable for one share of Bioniche within 120 days of the closing of the placement. Bioniche completed the first tranche of the placement in late June. Bioniche is focused on the development, manufacture and marketing of human and veterinary products, including a pipeline of anticancer therapies based on its mycobacterial cell wall technologies.

¿ Charles River Laboratories International Inc., of Wilmington, Mass., entered an agreement to acquire Genetic Models Inc., of Indianapolis, for $4 million in cash. Charles River expects the transaction to be complete in July. Genetic Models offers proprietary disease-specific rat models for use in biomedical research. In other news, Charles River entered a technology partnership agreement with Advanced Cell Technology Inc., of Worcester, Mass., to apply ACT¿s transgenic technologies to the creation of cloned rat research models for use in diabetes and cardiovascular disease research. Financial terms were undisclosed.

¿ Cyanotech Corp., of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, initiated a clinical trial of BioAstin, a proprietary formulation of the microalgae Haematococcus pluvialis, which contains high levels of astaxanthin, a potent antioxidant. The double-blind, placebo-controlled trial will measure BioAstin¿s effectiveness at lowering LDL, or ¿bad¿ cholesterol, while increasing HDL, or ¿good¿ cholesterol, and whether BioAstin can beneficially alter other serum markers.

¿ Debiopharm SA, of Lausanne, Switzerland, said the FDA granted marketing approval for its luteinizing hormone releasing hormone agonist, triptorelin pamoate, or Trelstar LA, for treatment of advanced-stage prostate cancer. Trelstar is a controlled-release formulation of triptorelin that delivers the compound continuously over a period of three months after intramuscular injection.

¿ ISTA Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Irvine, Calif., completed patient enrollment in the second of its Phase III trials of Vitrase for treatment of severe vitreous hemorrhage. The multisite study targeted 510 patients. ISTA recently completed enrollment in another Phase III trial of Vitrase in North America.

¿ MetaProbe LLC, of San Diego, closed a Series A financing that grossed almost $5 million. Primary investors were IngleWood Ventures, of San Diego; Research Corporation Technologies, of Tucson, Ariz.; and Scope Industries, of Los Angeles. MetaProbe is engaged in the development of novel imaging agents that enable real-time, three-dimensional visualization of specific physiological events or disease using magnetic resonance imaging.

¿ Restoragen Inc., of Lincoln, Nebraska, said results from a 6-week Phase II trial of Betatropin (recombinant glucagon-like peptide-1) in Type II diabetes patients and a Phase I/II trial in Type II diabetes presented at a scientific meeting in Philadelphia indicated the therapy produced a statistically significant reduction in glycated hemoglobin (p=0.003). The study indicated the therapy produced a similar reduction in normalized fructosamine (p=0.0002) and significant weight reductions (p=0.02).

¿ ViroLogic Inc., of South San Francisco, said a study using its PhenoSense HIV drug resistance assay demonstrated that HIV patient outcomes can be significantly improved by the presence of hypersusceptibility to antiviral drugs. PhenoSense HIV, ViroLogic said, is the only commercially available drug resistance test to detect hypersusceptibility to HIV drugs. The study was published in the journal AIDS. ViroLogic¿s stock (NASDAQ:VLGC) jumped 90 cents, or about 33 percent, Thursday to close at $3.65.

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