¿ Celera Genomics Inc., of Rockville, Md., said DNA Sciences Inc., of Fremont, Calif., signed a multiyear subscription agreement. DNA Sciences will access the Celera Discovery System to use Celera¿s database products, bioinformatics systems and other discovery tools in its research. Financial terms were not disclosed.

¿ Centocor Inc., of Malvern, Pa., said results from a Phase III trial evaluating half the dose of Retavase, a clot-dissolving fibrinolytic agent, and a standard dose of ReoPro (abciximab), an anticlotting agent, as potential heart attack treatments were published in the June 16, 2001, issue of The Lancet. The combination therapy arm reported reduced complications associated with heart attack, including recurrence and the need for urgent procedures to open coronary arteries.

¿ Cubist Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., and DSM Fine Chemicals, a subsidiary of DSM NV, opened a new manufacturing facility on the DSM fermentation site in Capua, Italy, for commercial production of bulk daptomycin drug substance. Cubist and DSM entered a services agreement in June 2000, allowing DSM to provide supervisory and advisory services to Cubist relating to the construction and equipping of the manufacturing facility. Cubist also agreed to purchase minimum annual quantities of bulk drug substance.

¿ Immunex Corp., of Seattle, said data from three long-term studies of moderate to severely active rheumatoid arthritis patients receiving Enbrel (etanercept) showed the therapy produced a sustained therapeutic response with no significant increase in the type or rate of side effects over time. Enbrel is a tumor necrosis factor inhibitor.

¿ Millennium Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., initiated a Phase II trial of LDP-341 (formerly PS-341) in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia. The open-label, dose-finding study is in patients who have relapsed during or within six months of treatment with a purine analogue. It also began two Phase I trials of LDP-341 ¿ one in combination with gemcitabine (Gemzar) and the second in combination with irinotecan. LDP-341 acts against cancer cells by blocking proteasome function, leading to the induction of apoptosis and inhibition of cell growth, cellular adhesion molecule expression and angiogenesis. The gemcitabine trial is an open-label, dose-escalation study in patients with advanced solid tumors. The irinotecan trial has the same structure, but focuses on previously treated patients with advanced solid tumors.

¿ Oxford Glycosciences plc, of Oxford, UK, said it is building a Protein Atlas of the human genome that will use sequence information obtained directly from naturally occurring human proteins to identify all protein-coding genes in the genome. The project will use OGS¿s proprietary technology platform, and will be substantially completed in the next 24 months. In separate news, OGS said it entered a joint venture with Marconi plc, of London, called Confirmant Ltd. The venture will integrate and leverage Marconi¿s broadband data transmission and hosting capabilities with OGS¿s proteome database, including the Protein Atlas.

¿ Oxigene Inc., of Watertown, Mass., said an independent study validates the value of its vascular targeting agent Combretastatin (CA4P) as part of treatment for malignant tumors. The study, published in Cancer Research, demonstrated that CA4P, in combination with radioimmunotherapy, can enhance the antitumor action of radioimmunotherapy and produce long-term cures, the company said. Tumors were eradicated in 85 percent of mice in the study and at the conclusion of the study, more than nine months after treatment, no histological evidence of residual tumor cells was seen. CA4P is designed to destroy the blood vessels that support tumors.

¿ Pharming Group NV, of Leiden, the Netherlands, said the European Medicine Evaluation Agency granted orphan medicinal product status for recombinant human C1 inhibitor for the indication of angioedema. Pharming and Baxter Healthcare Corp., of Deefield, Ill., are co-developing recombinant human C1 inhibitor for hereditary angioedema.

¿ SafeScience Inc., of Boston, signed a letter of intent to enter a venture with Elan Corp. plc, of Dublin, Ireland, for the further development of SafeScience¿s lead candidate, GBC-590, in oncology. The compound is currently in a Phase II trial as a treatment for pancreatic and colorectal cancer. Terms of the agreement call for both companies to license proprietary technology to the joint venture, and Elan will make an equity investment in SafeScience. Full terms are to be announced after the finalization of the deal, expected before the end of the month. In separate news, SafeScience received notification from the Nasdaq National Market that it fails to comply with the market¿s minimum net tangible assets, market capitalization or earnings standards, and its shares are subject to delisting from the Small Cap Market. SafeScience is appealing the determination.

¿ The Immune Response Corp., of Carlsbad, Calif., saw its stock (NASDAQ:IMNR) jump 155 percent Friday, up $2.43 to $4., following Trinity Medical Group USA Inc.¿s presentation of data concluding that long-term Remune treatment was safe and resulted in increased CD4 and CD8 T-cell count and body weight. Patients were not receiving any other form of antiviral therapy. The data were presented at the Eleventh Symposium of HIV Infection, held in Toulon, France. The data suggest that nearly two-thirds (65.91%) of infected patients could benefit from Remune as the sole treatment for HIV.

¿ Zygogen LLC, of Atlanta, entered a strategic partnership with NuTec Sciences Inc., also of Atlanta. The alliance aims to accelerate Zygogen¿s ability to convert zebrafish into a target validation and screening model.

¿ The National Center for Genome Resources, of Santa Fe, N.M., plans to launch a full users¿ release of ISYS, its Integrated System, at the Beyond Genome 2001 Conference in San Francisco June 17-20. ISYS integrates independent bioinformatic software tools and databases.

¿ Zonagen Inc., of The Woodlands, Texas, contracted Bridge Organics, of Vicksburg, Mich., to develop a commercially viable process for a new class of compounds for the treatment of endometriosis. The compounds, known as selective progesterone receptor modulators, were developed by the National Institutes of Health, of Bethesda, Md. Zonagen licensed the compounds in 1999. Bridge Organics is focused on preparing organic compounds and developing chemical processes for commercial sale production. Financial terms were not disclosed.

No Comments