¿ Aastrom Biosciences Inc., of Ann Arbor, Mich., and Neoprobe Corp., of Dublin, Ohio, began a development collaboration for a new immune system cell therapy product for cancer treatment. The collaboration will join Neoprobe¿s lymph node lymphocyte cell technology with Aastrom¿s AastromReplicell system and lymphocyte production technologies.
¿ BioMimetic Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Nashville, Tenn., entered patent licensing agreements with Harvard Medical School, of Boston, and ZymoGenetics Inc., of Seattle. The agreements cover what BioMimetic calls ¿key¿ patent protection for its lead products, and include rights to about 30 U.S. patents. BMP also entered a manufacturing agreement with Chiron Corp., of Emeryville, Calif., for the large-scale manufacture of purified recombinant human platelet-derived growth factor BB.
¿ Cambridge Antibody Technology Group plc, of Melbourne, UK, and Xerion Pharmaceuticals GmbH, of Martinsried, Germany, entered a licensing agreement for CAT¿s human phage antibody libraries and underlying intellectual property. Xerion will use the licensed technology for target discovery and validation and for functional proteomics work. CAT receives an undisclosed license fee for the technology from Xerion. Further financial details were unavailable.
¿ Cytogen Corp., of Princeton, N.J., said a study by Duke University and Johns Hopkins medical centers researchers into the use of a ProstaScint diagnostic scan indicates the imaging agent may significantly improve a physician¿s ability to detect the location and extent of recurrent cancer in patients who have had their prostate glands removed. The 255-man study identified recurrent disease with the ProstaScint in 72 percent of radical prostatectomy patients who subsequently had an increase in prostate-specific antigen levels.
¿ Diatos SA, of Paris, and the Universite Catholique de Louvain (UCL), of Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, entered a three-year research and development collaboration. The agreement will bring Diatos¿ and UCL¿s technologies to bear on the investigation of tumor-activated prodrugs and drug delivery systems.
¿ Epicyte Pharmaceutical Inc., of San Diego, received a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research grant of $500,000 from the National Institutes of Health. The grant is to fund the development of antibodies to prevent the transmission of human papillomavirus.
¿ Gilead Sciences Inc., of Foster City, Calif., said in vitro data characterizing the resistance profile of tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (tenofovir DF), the company¿s potential HIV therapeutic, indicated that reduced susceptibility to tenofovir is infrequent and not closely correlated with cross-resistance to commercially available nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor or non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor class drugs. The resistance profile was studied using phenotypic analyses of close to 5,000 clinically derived HIV samples from predominantly treatment-experienced patients.
¿ Human Genome Sciences Inc., of Rockville, Md., said its investigational new drug application for Albutropin, a long-acting recombinant growth hormone, was approved by the FDA. HGS may now proceed with its planned Phase I trial of Albutropin in growth hormone-deficient adults, and HGS said it also is planning a trial of Albutropin in hormone-deficient children.
¿ IGEN International Inc., of Gaithersburg, Md., filed motions in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt, Md., asking for summary judgement on four claims against Roche Diagnostics GmbH, a division of F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd., of Basel, Switzerland. The companies are embroiled in a suit that centers on a licensing agreement for IGEN¿s Origen technology.
¿ NuTec Sciences Life Sciences Division, of Atlanta, unveiled the world¿s fastest commercial life sciences supercomputer, the company said. The 5,000-CPU, IBM eServer cluster gives the supercomputer the processing capacity of 7.5 trillion calculations per second.
¿ InKine Pharmaceuticals Co., of Blue Bell, Pa., said interim results from a Phase IV trial indicated that Visicol, the company¿s colon cleanser, is effective using a lower than indicated number of tablets and a reduced volume of clear liquid. The data from 52 of 100 patients come from a trial designed to test the hypothesis from a Phase II dose-ranging trial of Visicol that a reduced number of tablets and a reduced volume of liquid, if taken over a shorter period of time, may show comparable cleansing efficacy to the approved regimen.
¿ Innapharma Inc., of Park Ridge, N.J., and Quintiles Transnational Corp., of Research Triangle Park, N.C., formed a nonexclusive preferred provider agreement calling for Quintiles to work closely with Innapharma in the planning and implementing of a clinical program for Innapharma¿s lead candidate, INN 00835, a clinical depression therapeutic. Quintiles will become Innapharma¿s clinical research provider of choice, and will make an undisclosed equity investment in Innapharma.
¿ Innate Pharma SAS, of Marseilles, said its co-founder, Alessandro Moretta, won the European Yvette Mayent Institut Curie prize for his research in innate immunity. The award, presented to one or several researchers in recognition of scientific discovery that contributes to the advancement of cancer diagnostics, treatment or prevention, also honored Alessandro¿s brother, Lorenzo Moretta, and Klas Karre.
¿ Introgen Therapeutics Inc., of Austin, Texas, and the University of California entered a research agreement to evaluate the potential use of gene therapy in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis in preclinical studies. The collaboration will evaluate multiple genes from Introgen¿s portfolio in laboratory-based studies.
¿ Myriad Genetics Inc., of Salt Lake City, said it discovered a gene, CHD2, responsible for high total cholesterol and low HDL in individuals with early age myocardial infarction. Myriad, which found the gene through a combination of familial genetic analyses and analyses of biological pathways, said the research showed the gene¿s protein product is produced in abnormal amounts in that patient population.
¿ Nastech Pharmaceutical Co., of Hauppauge, N.Y., said interim results from its ongoing Phase II study of intranasal apomorphine for the treatment of erectile dysfunction indicated that an intranasal dose of apomorphine of 0.5 mg given 15 to 20 minutes before sexual intercourse allowed successful intercourse 80 percent of the time. A placebo intranasal dose and an intranasal dose of apomorphine of 0.25 mg produced successful intercourse 12 percent and 40 percent of the time, respectively.
¿ Palatin Technologies Inc., of Princeton, N.J., presented results of a preclinical study of PT-141, its treatment for erectile dysfunction. The trial evaluated PT-141¿s ability to cause penile erections in primate and rodent species. The research indicated that intravenous administration of the drug produced a significant increase in the duration and frequency of penile erections from baseline over the two-hour observation period.
¿ Progenics Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Tarrytown, N.Y., said an article published in the Journal of Virology describes a novel anti-HIV therapeutic candidate that mimics a cell-surface structure used by the virus to infect cells. The compound, a sulfated CCR5 peptide, attaches to HIV in a way that inhibits binding to human immune system cells, targeting a region that doesn¿t appear to vary across different strains of HIV.
¿ Silicon Genetics Inc., of Redwood City, Calif., said the Genome Consortium for Active Teaching will become the first Springboard program participant to incorporate SGI¿s GeneSpring gene expression analysis software into its curriculum. The Springboard program offers short-term licenses for GeneSpring to university faculty.
¿ SurroMed Inc., of Mountain View, Calif., and the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, of Palo Alto, Calif., entered an exclusive, multi-year research collaboration for biological marker discovery and comprehensive disease phenotyping. The agreement calls for the parties to undertake phenotyping research in multiple disease areas to identify biological markers for use in diagnostic, prognostic, monitoring and therapeutic discovery and development. The collaboration will initially focus on rheumatoid arthritis, and the first phenotyping study is scheduled to begin enrollment this quarter.
¿ The Medicines Co., of Cambridge, Mass., entered a collaboration with Grupo Ferrer Internacional SA, of Barcelona, Spain, for the registration, distribution and promotion of Angiomax in Spain, Portugal, Greece and 18 Latin American markets. Ferrer will manage and fund all regulatory filings in Latin America, and TMC will be responsible for filings in the European markets. Ferrer will exclusively distribute and market Angiomax in all the areas covered by the agreement, and TMC will share equally in sales revenue. TMC received regulatory approval for Angiomax, a thrombin-specific anticoagulant, from the FDA in December for use in percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty procedures in patients with unstable angina. (See BioWorld Today, Dec. 19, 2000.)
¿ Thermogenesis Corp., of Rancho Cordova, Calif., said it sold a BioArchive System to the Universite Catholique de Louvain (UCL), of Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium. The system is the third such placement at a Belgian stem cell bank.
¿ Transkaryotic Therapies Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., said an article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported results from a pivotal trial evaluating Replagal (agalsidase alfa) enzyme replacement therapy as a treatment for Fabry disease. The trial indicated that patients receiving Replagal had a clinically significant reduction in severe, debilitating pain compared to no change in the placebo group. The trial also indicated Replagal caused a reduction in the number of days off pain medication, improved quality of life and improved or stabilized kidney function in treated patients.