Biomax Informatics AG, of Martinsried, Germany, released a new version of its BioRS Integration and Retrieval System, which was first launched in 1998. It enables researchers instant access to multiple biological data sources, including in-house proprietary databases, Biomax said.

British Biotech plc, of Oxford, UK, said it is stopping one of two remaining Phase III trials of its oral metalloproteinase inhibitor, marimastat, after carrying out interim analyses, in consultation with its licensing partner, Schering-Plough Corp. A study in non-small-cell lung cancer is terminated, while the other study in resected pancreatic cancer continues. The company also said 24-month follow-up of patients with advanced gastric or gastro-esophagal cancer continues to show a survival benefit compared to those treated with placebo. The Phase III trial, which originally reported in August 1999, did not meet its primary endpoint, though there was a survival benefit with marimastat. CEO Elliot Goldstein said the future direction of the program "is the subject of ongoing discussion" with Schering-Plough.

Cambridge Antibody Technology Group plc, of Melbourn, UK, announced new data on CAT-152, its human anti-TGF-beta2 monoclonal antibody for the prevention of scarring after eye surgery, and said it expects to receive European orphan drug designation for the compound. Two-year follow-up results from a Phase I/IIa trial in 24 patients undergoing surgery for glaucoma show that those treated with CAT-152 at the time of surgery had significantly lower intraocular pressure. This remained the case even though they had less post-operative medication to reduce pressure than the placebo group. CAT said the differences between CAT-152 and placebo patients, previously reported three to 12 months after surgery, suggest that the modulation of the initial wound-healing response can have long-lasting beneficial effects. CAT plans to confirm the findings in further clinical trials to be initiated later this year. CAT also said it has preclinical data suggesting CAT-152 could prevent the clouding of the lens that occurs in up to 40 percent of patients after cataract surgery.

Micromet AG, of Martinsried, Germany, will support the pharmaceutical company Byk Gulden GmbH, of Constance, Germany,to find drug targets associated with lung cancer. Micromet said that using its proprietary technologies, it will select pathogenic cells from patients "tissue samples. Then it will check these pathogenic cells" gene expression profiles and genomic aberrations. Byk then will use these results for further target search. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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