¿ AEterna Laboratories Inc., of Quebec City, Quebec, said its subsidiary, Atrium Biotechnologies Inc., acquired Unipex, of Rueil-Malmaison, France, for about $20 million. Unipex is a value-added distributor of raw materials in the fine chemical, nutrition, cosmetic and pharmaceutical sectors. In the deal, Atrium gets 70 percent of the Unipex shares, with senior Unipex management retaining control of the remaining shares.
¿ Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Diego, said underwriters exercised their overallotment option connected with Arena¿s secondary offering in June. The additional 750,000 shares purchased by underwriters at $27.50 per share bring the offering total to 5.75 million shares. Of those shares, 1 million were sold by selling shareholders. Including the overallotment option, sold by Arena, the company¿s proceeds from the offering were $130.6 million. Arena has developed Constitutively Activated Receptor Technology (CART), which can identify drug leads when used with GPCRs or other receptors. (See BioWorld Today, June 25, 2001.)
¿ Atrix Laboratories Inc., of Fort Collins, Colo., said it received approval in Switzerland to market Atridox (8.5 percent doxycycline) in the Atrigel delivery system for periodontal disease. Atrix said it expects to market Atridox within several months. Atridox combines Atrix¿s Atrigel drug delivery system with the antibiotic doxycycline to reduce the bacteria associated with periodontal disease.
¿ Celera Genomics Group, of Rockville, Md., entered an agreement with the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) to provide a multiyear subscription to Celera¿s genomics databases and bioinformatics expertise. The NWO plans to use the subscription to facilitate access to genomics data for the Dutch research community. Financial terms were undisclosed.
¿ Chiron Corp., of Emeryville, Calif., entered a second collaborative agreement with Genetronics Biomedical Corp., of San Diego, to explore using Genetronics¿ electroporation platform to deliver certain DNA vaccines into cells in vivo. Electroporation involves using brief, intense, pulsed electric fields to temporarily permeabilize cell membranes, creating pores that allows molecules, including DNA and proteins, into the cell. Financial details were not disclosed.
¿ Enzon Inc., of Piscataway, N.J., said Schering-Plough Corp., of Madison, N.J., submitted a supplemental biologics license application to the FDA for PEG-Intron (peginterferon alfa-2b) Redipen Single-dose Delivery System. PEG-Intron is a longer-acting form of Intron A (interferon alfa-2b, recombinant) Injection that uses pegylated technology developed by Enzon. Enzon is entitled to royalties on worldwide sales of PEG-Intron.
¿ Epigenomics AG, of Berlin, entered a worldwide exclusive licensing agreement with Cancer Research Ventures Ltd., of London, for a DNA methylation-based diagnostic test. Epigenomics will develop and commercialize the novel methylation detection assay as an alternative technology for the development of diagnostic tests.
¿ Gene Logic Inc., of Gaithersburg, Md., said PsychoGenics Inc., of Hawthorne, N.Y., subscribed to a CustomSuite of the GeneExpress Suite, and entered a content collaboration focused on central nervous system tissue samples. PsychoGenics focuses on behavioral and neurological disorders. Financial terms were not disclosed.
¿ Harvard Bioscience Inc., of Holliston, Mass., said it acquired all the outstanding stock of International Market Supply Ltd., of Cheshire, UK, for $1.4 million. IMS develops, manufactures and markets a line of respiration products. Harvard said the acquisition strengthens its offering of research tools.
¿ Inpharmatica, of London, completed a #31.3 million (US$44 million) private placement in the company¿s second round of financing. The structural bioinformatics company said it anticipates this will be the final funding round before it seeks a listing to trade publicly. The placement was led by Dresdner Kleinwort Capital, a European private equity group with offices in London. Other investors included Abingworth Management, of London; Advent Venture Partners, of London; Gilde Investment, of the Netherlands; and Vertex Management, of Singapore. Genentech Inc., of South San Francisco, already in a structure-analysis deal with Inpharmatica, also made a strategic investment. (See BioWorld Today, March 22, 2001.)
¿ Kosan Biosciences Inc., of Hayward, Calif., said experiments by collaborators at the Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research indicate epothilone D is an efficacious antitumor agent with a broad therapeutic spectrum and a wide safety margin in animal models. In a head-to-head study epothilone D was found superior to paclitaxel and other currently used anticancer agents. The experiments appear in full in the July 3, 2001, issue of The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
¿ Oxigene Inc., of Watertown, Mass., completed the sale of its Nicoplex and Thiol test products to CampaMed LLC. CampaMed is to provide up to $3.3 million in future installment payments based on product sales, and Oxigene was granted a 10 percent position in CampaMed as a part of the deal. Nicoplex is a combination of antioxidant nutrients, and the Thiol test estimates oxidative stress-related DNA repair as an indicator of risk of illness associated with aging and cancer.
¿ PowderJect Pharmaceuticals plc, of Oxford, UK, entered an agreement with Active Biotech AB, of Lund, Sweden, to acquire its wholly owned subsidiary, SBL Vaccin AB, a vaccine company, for $50 million. The deal also calls for milestones to Active for approval of the products Dukoral and ETEC, both for traveler¿s diarrhea. The milestones could be worth between $5 million and $10 million, depending on approval dates. Also, Active could receive royalty payments for sales of Dukoral in Europe and ETEC worldwide, up to a total of $20 million for each, during the period that an appropriate valid patent remains in the relevant territories.
¿ Prometic Life Sciences Inc., of Montreal, entered an agreement with the American Red Cross (ARC) to form a new company to use Prometic¿s platform technology and the ARC¿s expertise in transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) research and pathogen clearance in blood products. Both will contribute intellectual property to develop diagnostic and removal systems to control the possible transmission of TSEs.
¿ XTL Biopharmaceuticals Ltd., of Rehovot, Israel, began Phase I studies of XTL-002, a human monoclonal antibody for treatment of hepatitis C. The 15-patient trial is designed to evaluate the safety and tolerability of XTL-002 as well as changes in viral levels.