¿ AlphaRx Inc., of Richmond Hill, Ontario, retained NBT Capital Inc. to cover investor relations and to increase investor awareness of AlphaRx. NBT also will provide financial advisory services.

¿ Aphton Corp., of Miami, presented results from studies of fresh human colorectal cancer samples, at the annual meeting of the American Gastoenterological Association in Atlanta. The results from the samples showed that the inhibition of gastrin reduced by 10-fold the production of heparin-binding epithelial growth factor, which is involved in the formation of new blood vessels.

¿ Bioject Medical Technologies Inc., of Portland, Ore., completed a $15 million equity financing round by offering 1.5 million shares at $10 per share. Also, warrants to purchase 225,000 shares at $11 per share were offered. Investors included Merlin Biomed Group; Pequot Capital Management, of Westport, Conn.; and Franklin Templeton Investments, of Rancho Cordova, Calif. Leerink, Swann & Co., of Boston, acted as lead placement agent. The company is developing needle-free delivery technology.

¿ BioMimetic Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Nashville, Tenn., said it completed a $6.5 million venture capital funding through lead investors Burrill and Co., of San Francisco, and Holden Capital, of Denver. BioMimetic¿s lead products are based on recombinant human platelet-derived growth factor BB.

¿ Bionomics Ltd., of Adelaide, Australia, said it secured worldwide rights to a set of genes involved in the growth of new blood vessels, from the Hanson Centre for Cancer Research. Bionomics will apply for patents for the 14 new genes. Bionomics will pay the Hanson Centre research and milestone payments, plus a royalty on any commercialized products.

¿ Cephalon Inc., of West Chester, Pa., said it granted rights to market and distribute modafinil to Armstrong Laboratories de Mexico S.A.C.V., of Mexico, and Sintong Chemical Industrial Co. Ltd., of Taiwan. Cephalon markets modafinil as Provigil in the U.S.

¿ Connetics Corp., of Palo Alto, Calif., said it will pursue a license or other strategic alternative for its relaxin program as a part of its increasing focus on dermatology. Connetics also will reduce its work force from 182 people to 155 people by eliminating positions related to relaxin, a hormone thought to have activities including vasodilation, angiogenesis and inhibition of fibrosis. The company has scaled back on relaxin development since it failed in a Phase III scleroderma trial in October. (See BioWorld Today, Oct. 10, 2000.)

¿ Durect Corp., of Cupertino, Calif., said it completed construction of a commercial manufacturing facility. The new facility will compromise about 8,000 square feet and will be located at its headquarters in Cupertino.

¿ Enzon Inc., of Piscataway, N.J., said Arthur Higgins will become the company¿s president and CEO. Higgins is the former president of Abbott Pharmaceutical Products Division, a division of Abbott Laboratories, of Abbott Park, Ill.

¿ Ergo Science Corp., of Boston, said it was advised by Nasdaq on Wednesday that its common stock would be delisted from Nasdaq effective with the open of business Thursday. Ergo intends to seek to have one or more market makers quote its stock on Nasdaq¿s Over-the-Counter Bulletin Board.

¿ GenVec Inc., of Gaithersburg, Md., presented data demonstrating the tissue-specific delivery of genes using its proprietary targeted adenovector technology. The data were presented at the American Society for Microbiology meeting in Orlando, Fla. The new vectors were shown to avoid binding to unwanted tissues and to deliver genes to targets with great efficiency.

¿ Nastech Pharmaceutical Co. Inc., of Hauppauge, N.Y., began a Phase I study to determine the uptake of intranasally administered drug molecules into the central nervous system. The 12-patient study will obtain cerebral spinal fluid from each patient after administration to evaluate for drug content.

¿ Prescient Neuropharma Inc., of Toronto, said it began a collaboration with Jean Philippe Pin of CNRS-UPR, of Montpelier, France, to research small molecules involved in acute brain diseases. The collaboration will focus on functional analysis of Prescient¿s compounds relative to the eight metabotropic glutamate receptors to identify a lead compound and corresponding disease. Financial terms were not released.

¿ Third Wave Technologies Inc., of Madison, Wis., and the Japanese government¿s single nucleotide polymorphism initiative said they will collaborate to complete the development of at least 120,000 Invader SNP assays. The Japanese SNP initiative plans to perform more than 100 million SNP analyses during the upcoming year using Third Wave¿s Invader technology. Financial terms were not disclosed.

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