¿ Advanced Polymer Systems Inc., of Redwood City, Calif., changed its name to AP Pharma Inc. Upon opening of trading on Monday the company¿s shares traded on the Nasdaq National Market under the symbol ¿APPA.¿
¿ Advanced Tissue Sciences Inc., of La Jolla, Calif., said growth factors from its human tissue-engineered skin produced a reduction in facial wrinkles when applied in a topical solution. Data from one study indicated that nine of 14 patients who used NouriCel daily had visible improvements in at least one of four areas, and their average decrease in wrinkle depth was 27 percent after 60 days. In a second study, an additional 16 volunteers who used NouriCel for 30 days exhibited a 50 percent to 80 percent increase in Grenz zone collagen.
¿ Applied Molecular Evolution Inc., of San Diego, adopted a stockholders rights plan. The plan is designed to strengthen the board¿s ability to protect AME stockholders.
¿ Aptus Genomics Inc., of Rockville, Md., closed its first institutional round of financing, raising $6.2 million for research and development infrastructure building. Emerging Technology Partners LLC, of Washington, led the round, and The Grosvenor Funds LLC, of Rockville, Md., and VitalBio LLC participated. Aptus focuses on the development of a technology platform to discover, qualify and utilize important families of human genes for pharmaceutical research with an initial focus on cell-surface receptors.
¿ BIO, the Biotechnology Industry Organization, of Washington, intends to present Legislator of the Year awards to members of Congress who have demonstrated a commitment to biotechnology. The awards are presented annually during BIO¿s annual Legislative Day, this year held today and Wednesday. Recipients are Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Sen. Tim Hutchinson (R-Ariz.), Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), Rep. Benjamin Cardin (Md.), Rep. Eva Clayton (D-NC), Rep. Jennifer Dunn (R-Wash.), Rep. Robert Erlich Jr. (R-Md.) and Rep. Robert Matsui (D-Calif.). The Legislative Day events provide industry representatives, including CEOs and research scientists, the opportunity to discuss policy with federal lawmakers and to update them on the latest advances in biotechnology. Issues likely to be addressed are Medicare reform, prescription drug pricing, food and agriculture, and research and development tax credits.
¿ Calyx Therapeutics Inc., of Hayward, Calif., named Mark Schwartz president and CEO. Schwartz is the former chief commercial officer at Trega Biosciences Inc., of San Diego.
¿ Cell Pathways Inc., of Horsham, Pa., said a report in the May 11, 2000, Journal of Biological Chemistry sheds light on the mechanism of action for its SAANDs (selective apoptotic antineoplastic drugs). Scientists at Columbia University reported in the journal that the activation of cyclic GMP-dependent protein kinase G (PKG) in cells led to the degradation of beta-catenin and the activation of the signaling molecule JNK1, culminating in apoptosis. The activation of PKG and the apoptotic pathway appeared to be triggered in cancerous and precancerous cells by inhibiting certain cyclic GMP phosphodiesterases, the drug targets for Cell Pathways¿ SAANDs.
¿ Genentech Inc., of South San Francisco, and IDEC Pharmaceuticals Corp., of San Diego, said the FDA approved a supplemental biologics license application for Rituxan (rituximab). The new product label includes retreatment with Rituxan after a prior course of Rituxan therapy, doubling of infusions and treatment of bulky disease, or tumors greater than 10 centimeters, for patients with relapsed or refractory, low-grade or follicular, CD20-positive B-cell non-Hodgkin¿s lymphoma.
¿ InforMax Inc., of Bethesda, Md., said it entered a license agreement with Cellular Genomics Inc., of New Haven, Conn., in the first quarter of this year for Informax¿s GenoMax enterprise software. Financial details were not disclosed.
¿ Interferon Sciences Inc., of New Brunswick, N.J., entered an exclusive technology license agreement with the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research in Rochester, Minn., for rights to Mayo¿s neo-adjuvant immunotherapy with interferon. Animal studies of the immunostimulative therapy indicated that short-duration pre-treatment with interferon in the neo-adjuvant protocol significantly increased the percentage of survival after surgical tumor resection compared to untreated controls. The therapy increased post-surgical survival by 56 percent.
¿ Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Palo Alto, Calif., said scientists from the Psoriasis Research Institute demonstrated that a topical antisense cream discovered by Isis reduced psoriasis disease severity scores in an animal model. Scientists used a cream formulation containing antisense inhibitors of two genes known to be associated with inflammation, CD80 and CD86, to human psoriatic skin grafted onto immunocompromised mice.
¿ Ortec International Inc., of New York, said the FDA notified it that its Composite Cultured Skin product will be reviewed by the General and Plastic Surgery Devices Panel of the Medical Devices Advisory Committee on July 17. Ortec submitted a premarket approval application to the FDA requesting permission to market its skin product for treatment of burn patients.
¿ Partek Inc., of St. Charles, Mo., said Large Scale Proteomics Corp., of Germantown, Md., licensed Partek¿s Pro 2000 Statistical and Visual Data Analysis system for proteomics research. Financial details were not disclosed.
¿ Remedyne Corp., of Santa Barbara, Calif., appointed Krisztina Zsebo president and CEO. Zsebo formerly held executive positions at Connetics Corp., of Palo Alto, Calif., and Thousand Oaks, Calif.-based Amgen Inc. Remedyne is developing DNA adenine methylase technology-based platforms for vaccines and antibiotics against infectious diseases.
¿ SciClone Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Mateo, Calif., initiated a Phase II trial of Zadaxin, its immune system enhancer, in combination with transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma. A Phase II trial of Zadaxin in combination with radio frequency abalation (RFA) was initiated in January, and the open-label, randomized, controlled TACE trail has the same study design as the RFA trial.
¿ Varian Inc., of Palo Alto, Calif., launched its TOP, or Tritely-on Oligonucleotide Purification product, for high-throughput purification. The system combines a 96-well plate, a streamlined protocol and a proprietary resin to deliver optimum purity and yield.