¿ Alliance Pharmaceutical Corp., of San Diego, said the use of LiquiVent, an oxygen-carrying liquid, enhanced adenovirus-mediated gene expression in the lungs of spontaneously breathing primates. The preclinical results were presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Gene Therapy in Seattle.
¿ Amgen Inc., of Thousand Oaks, Calif., presented the European League Against Rheumatism¿s annual Congress of Rheumatology with data from its anakinra (Kineret) study in rheumatoid arthritis. Amgen presented the data at the American College of Rheumatology in October. Data suggested that anakinra, an interleukin-1 receptor antagonist, may accelerate reduction in joint damage progression and improvement. Amgen submitted data to the FDA seeking approval for Kineret in December 1999 and additional data in April. Amgen also presented data from a dosage and efficacy trial of its pegylated recombinant soluble tumor necrosis factor-receptor type-1. At week 12 of administration to RA patients, PEGsTNF-R1 produced a 50 percent response rate in patients treated with 800mcg/kg. (See BioWorld Today, Oct. 31, 2000, and April 24, 2001.)
¿ Anadys Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Diego, said a description of its Genetically Assisted Target Evaluation (GATE) technology was published in the journal Pharmacogenomics. GATE is a microbial target-validation approach that identifies essential genes in bacteria and fungi. The article describes the implementation of GATE in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae to identify targets for screening efforts.
¿ Aptagen Inc., of Herndon, Va., said it formally launched its Protein Genesis platform for enhancing and modifying the function of human therapeutic proteins. Aptagen is a gene and protein bioengineering company focused on protein products in the medical, agricultural and chemical industries.
¿ Aviron Inc., of Mountain View, Calif., called for redemption of all its outstanding 5.75 percent convertible subordinated notes due 2005. The redemption price for the notes will be 103.286 percent of the principal amount plus accrued and unpaid interest from April 1 to the redemption date. As of June 15, $14.8 million aggregate principal amount of notes was outstanding.
¿ BioNebraska Inc., of Lincoln, Neb., said it will begin operating under the name Restoragen Inc., reflecting the company¿s commitment to develop and produce regulatory peptide hormone therapies designed to restore deteriorated body systems or functions. It is targeting a variety of diseases associated with aging, including obesity, heart failure and osteoporosis.
¿ Boston Life Sciences Inc., of Boston, said it completed development of its GMP manufacturing process for Troponin I and produced large-scale quantities of material necessary for the filing of an investigational new drug application with the FDA. It said the production scale should allow for the supply of adequate amounts of protein for the Phase I/II cancer trials scheduled for later this year. Troponin I is a naturally occurring protein that inhibits angiogenesis.
¿ Cellular Genomics Inc., of Branford, Conn., Viaken Systems Inc., of Gaithersburg, Md., and InforMax Inc., of Bethesda, Md., said they are working together to implement key elements of Cellular Genomics¿ bioinformatics infrastructure. As the outsourced bioinformatics provider for Cellular Genomics, Viaken will host, manage and support the implementation and maintenance of InforMax¿s GenoMax enterprise and software and related systems, using its VDS 4500-BG platform. Financial details were not disclosed.
¿ Centocor Inc., of Malvern, Pa., was a sponsor of the GUSTO-V study, a trial in heart attack patients that compared a standard clot-dissolving therapy, reteplase (Centocor¿s Retavase), to a combination of clot-dissolving therapy and abciximab (Centocor¿s ReoPro), an anticlotting agent that acts on white blood cells. It found that the combination therapy produced a statistically significant reduction in the rate of second heart attack. The combination therapy reduced the rate of second heart attack by 17 percent. Though the combination therapy led to increased risk of bleeding complications, it improved 14 of the 16 major complications of heart attack.
¿ CollaGenex Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Newtown, Pa., said its wholly owned subsidiary in the UK, CollaGenex International Ltd., completed filings for registration of Periostat tablets with the European Union member states and Norway. Periostat tablets were approved for marketing by the UK¿s Medicines Control Agency in February.
¿ Control Delivery Systems Inc., of Watertown, Mass., set its range for its initial public offering at $13 to $15 and its number of shares at 5.4 million, which would raise an estimated $70 million to $81 million. The company filed for its IPO in December. The company designs, develops and manufactures sustained-release drug delivery products.
¿ DNA Sciences Inc., of Fremont, Calif., changed the name of its wholly owned pharmacogenetic testing and services subsidiary to DNA Sciences Laboratories Inc. The subsidiary¿s products will continue to be marketed by PPD Inc., of Wilmington, N.C., under the brand name ¿Pharmacogenomic Solutions.¿
¿ DNAPrint genomics Inc., of Sarasota, Fla., said Tampa Bay Financial, of Sarasota, committed to an additional $2 million in growth capital beginning July 15. The funding will accelerate the company¿s polymorphism mapping and scoring efforts and the development of its analytical software platform for the discovery and commercialization of novel genomics-based diagnostic products.
¿ Genetronics Biomedical Corp., of San Diego, changed its jurisdiction of incorporation from Vancouver, British Columbia, through a continuation of Genetronics Biomedical Corp. Ltd. into Genetronics Biomedical Corp., a Delaware corporation. Genetronics said the incorporation change allows it to function under the flexible, highly developed and predictable Delaware corporate legal system.
¿ Genome Therapeutics Corp., of Waltham, Mass., received a milestone payment from Wyeth-Ayerst, the pharmaceutical division of American Home Products Corp., of Madison, N.J. The milestone is related to the completion of an undisclosed ¿major advancement¿ in the companies¿ genomics-based alliance to develop therapeutics for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. Publication of the discoveries is planned.
¿ GenStar Therapeutics, of San Diego, initiated a Phase I gene therapy trial in hemophilia A. The trial marks the first administration of GenStar¿s viral gene delivery system, Maximum-AD.
¿ GlaxoSmithKline plc, of London, said the genome of antibiotic-resistant clinical isolate of Streptococcus pneumoniae has been mapped by a group of its scientists working in Europe. The mapping was reported in the summer 2001 (volume 7, No. 2) issue of Microbial Drug Resistance: Mechanisms, Epidemiology, and Disease.
¿ Ichor Corp., of Lyon, France, completed a $2 million private financing from a consortium of investors advised by MFC Merchant Bank, of Geneva, Switzerland. The funds will be used to support Ichor¿s research and development of AIDS vaccines and therapeutics, and to build the infrastructure to accelerate future corporate development.
¿ ImClone Systems Inc., of New York, said the randomization of patients in its multinational Phase III trial of BEC2 in limited-disease small-cell lung carcinoma triggered a $500,000 milestone from partner Merck KGaA, of Darmstadt, Germany. BEC2 is an anti-idiotypic monoclonal antibody designed to prevent or delay the recurrence of certain tumors, including small-cell lung carcinoma.
¿ Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Carlsbad, Calif., said an 11-patient Phase I/II trial of ISIS 14803 demonstrated dose-dependent antiviral activity. ISIS 14803 decreased viral titers in patients with drug-resistant chronic hepatitis C virus infection. The drug is being developed with Elan Corp. plc, of Dublin, Ireland. They plan to conduct further single-agent trials, combination studies with pegylated interferon and ribavirin, and longer-term dosing trials.
¿ Lilly ICOS LLC, a joint venture of ICOS Corp., of Bothell, Wash., and Eli Lilly and Co., of Indianapolis, said results of an exploratory placebo-controlled trial of IC351 showed no conclusive treatment effect relative to placebo in women with female sexual arousal disorder. The study involved a total of 214 premenopausal women who received up to 20 mg of IC351 or placebo on demand. Patients were evaluated using diary reports and a standardized recall questionnaire. IC351 also is being evaluated as a treatment for erectile dysfunction, with a new drug application submission targeted for later this year, the company said.
¿ LION bioscience AG, of Heidelberg, Germany, released pathSCOUT 1.0, the first commercially available application for the visualization and analysis of biological pathways. Also, it released piSCOUT 1.0, a software package for the interactive visualization of relationships between molecules. The products are new modules for LION¿S integrated Life Science Informatics Platform being developed to shorten product development cycles in the life science industry.
¿ MDS Capital Corp., of Toronto, and Acqua Wellington Asset Management, of New York, formed a joint venture called Vengate Capital Partners. It will provide strategic and financial advisory services to emerging life sciences companies, and will, as a part of its mandate, seek to provide creative financing approaches to bridge the gap between traditional rounds of financing raised through existing investment banking and venture capital sources.
¿ Pyrosequencing AB, of Uppsala, Sweden, initiated a research agreement with The Children¿s Hospital of Philadelphia to analyze genes linked to hearing loss. The collaboration also will develop diagnostic tests using Pyrosequencing technology. The gene-analysis phase will analyze genetic variations in the Connexin 26 gene.
¿ SangStat Inc., of Fremont, Calif., initiated a Phase I study of RDP58, a novel peptide that inhibits tumor necrosis factor synthesis. The multiple-dose study will evaluate RDP58¿s safety, immunogenicity, pharmacokinetics and tolerability in 27 healthy volunteers.
¿ Sonus Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Bothell, Wash., said it grossed $4.9 million through a private placement of 1.7 million shares with a select group of investors that included Orion Biomedical Fund, OrbiMed Advisors LLC and Perceptive Life Sciences Funds. Evolution Capital, a subsidiary of Thomson Financial, served as placement agent for the transaction. The financing will be used to advance the development of Sonus¿ drug delivery products, including S-8184, a novel formulation of paclitaxel.
¿ Texas Biotechnology Corp., of Houston, said its stock would be traded on the Nasdaq National Market System under the symbol TXBI at the start of trading today. The company focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of drugs, and has expertise in small-molecule drug development and vascular biology.
¿ The University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, of Pittsburgh, said research done by Dong Moon Shin in a Phase II study suggests that treating head and neck cancer patients with a combination of the biologic agents retinoid, interferon and vitamin E may lead to improved survival for patients with a locally advanced stage of the disease and result in few negative side effects. The study focused on patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. Results from the study are published in the June 15, 2001, issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
¿ Yamanouchi Pharma Technologies Inc., of Palo Alto, Calif., said its research, development and manufacturing operations will be consolidated into a single business unit located in Norman, Okla., adjacent to the University of Oklahoma. The relocation efforts will begin in December 2001 and will continue through mid-2003.