¿ American Biogenetic Sciences Inc., of Copiague, N.Y., said its antigen-free mice exhibit a significantly stronger immune response to immunization than do germ-free or conventional laboratory mice. The mice were shown to have a stronger T-cell response, and IgG antibodies in sera were shown to have higher average affinity. The research with mice could lead, scientists said, to more efficient production of monoclonal antibodies.
¿ Applied Biosystems Group, of Foster City, Calif., obtained an exclusive license for biological molecule analysis technology from Northeastern University in Boston. The vacuum deposition technology is expected to bridge matrix-assisted laser-desorption ionization (MALDI) mass spectrometry and high performance separations systems such as liquid chromatography and capillary electrophoresis.
¿ BioChem Pharma Inc., of Laval, Quebec, said data indicated that Zeffix (lamivudine) induces a complete virologic response in about 23 percent of children suffering from hepatitis B compared to 13 percent in the placebo group. The data were presented at the 36th Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of the Liver Congress in Prague. Zeffix was launched in Nov. 1998, for treatment of chronic hepatitis B in patients 16 years or older.
¿ Calypte Biomedical Corp., of Alameda, Calif., sold its 29 percent position in Pepgen Corp. for $500,000. Calypte said the divestiture of its ownership in Pepgen, which develops new forms of interferon, reflects a focus on its diagnostics projects and will have a positive impact on Calypte¿s current funding needs.
¿ Cellomics Inc., of Pittsburgh, said Abgenix Inc., of Fremont, Calif., became the first company to take delivery of Cellomics¿ ArrayScan Kinetics Automated High Content Screening Workstation. Abgenix will use the system to characterize the effects of its antibody-based therapeutic drug candidates on live cells.
¿ Connetics Corp., of Palo Alto, Calif., completed the acquisition of Soltec Research Pty. Ltd., a division of Melbourne, Australia-based F.H. Faulding & Co. Ltd. Connetics acquired all of Soltec¿s issued capital for Australian $32 million (US$16.2 million). Through the acquisition, Connetics gains worldwide rights to several topical delivery systems, including aerosol foams. (See BioWorld Today, March 22, 2001.)
¿ CV Therapeutics Inc., of Palo Alto, Calif., refiled two shelf registrations totaling $190 million. The company has about $283 million in cash and Louis Lange, president and CEO of CV Therapeutics, said the company would spend somewhere between $80 million and $90 million over the course of 2001. It has approximately 19.7 million shares outstanding.
¿ Cylex Inc., of Columbia, Md., received a Phase II Maryland Industrial Partnership Award for $69,218 to fund its Assay System for Measuring Immune Reconstitution project. That project is designed to generate data from the evaluation and analysis of test systems for monitoring cellular-mediated immunity of HIV-infected and uninfected individuals with Cylex¿s in vitro CMI assay.
¿ DoubleTwist Inc., of Oakland, Calif., said its proprietary annotated gene sequence databases will be available on DoubleTwist.com. The databases include the DoubleTwist Annotated Human Gene Index and its Annotated Mouse Gene Index.
¿ Genometrix Inc., of The Woodlands, Texas, and GE Medical Systems, of Waukesha, Wis., entered an alliance to combine genetic and protein data with diagnostic imaging to enhance early diagnosis and treatment of cancer. The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston will pilot the initial research using the combined technologies.
¿ Gilead Sciences Inc., of Foster City, Calif., presented data from four studies of adefovir dipivoxil, the company¿s investigational antiviral agent for treatment of hepatitis B, at the 36th Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of the Liver Congress in Prague, that characterized the drug candidate¿s efficacy, safety and resistance profile. Two pivotal Phase III trials are under way to evaluate adefovir dipivoxil as a potential chronic hepatitis B treatment, and the company said it anticipates filing for regulatory approval in the U.S. and Europe in the first half of 2002.
¿ Hybridon Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., and EpiGenesis Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Cranbury, N.J., entered a collaboration to develop and market up to five antisense drugs for respiratory diseases. Hybridon will receive a $500,000 up-front cash payment in addition to royalties and sublicense fees on any future compounds that use Hybridon¿s proprietary chemistries.
¿ International Wex Technologies Inc., of Vancouver, British Columbia, said it set the price of a nonbrokered private placement for 300,000 common shares at $2.12 per share, with two-year warrants attached for 300,000 shares exercisable at $2.49 per share in the first year and $2.99 per share in the second year, expiring two years from the closing of the private placement. The proceeds will be used for research and development of its product, Tetrodin.
¿ Kosan Biosciences Inc., of Hayward, Calif., received a $750,000 Phase II Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. The grant is to fund the construction of yeast strains optimized for high-level production of polyketides.
¿ Partek Inc., of St. Charles, Mo., integrated its Partek Pro 2000 statistical and visual analysis software with the GeneExpress suite of databases put out by Gene Logic Inc., of Gaithersburg, Md. The integration will allow GeneExpress users to export gene or sample attributes and gene expression data to Partek Pro 2000 for analysis.
¿ Senetek plc, of Napa, Calif., said a study in England strongly supports Invicorp¿s safety and efficacy in men with diabetes. The company¿s erectile dysfunction treatment logged a 77 percent response rate in 23 patients in a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial compared to 19 percent in the placebo group.
¿ SciClone Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Mateo, Calif., said one-year follow-up data from a study of Zadaxin presented at the National Zadaxin Meeting on Cancer in Shanghai indicated that the combination treatment of Zadaxin plus transarterial chemoembolization resulted in statistically significant improvement in survival rates at six, nine and 12 months of 91 percent, 88 percent and 78 percent, respectively, compared to historical control rates of 77 percent, 58 percent and 46 percent, respectively.
¿ Senomyx Inc., of La Jolla, Calif., identified a candidate human taste receptor for sweets, hT1R3. The new candidate receptor was identified using a bioinformatics analysis of unannotated human genome sequence databases to identify the gene sequence encoding the hT1R3.
¿ Sepracor Inc., of Marlborough, Mass., said marketing partner Janssen Pharmaceutica N.V., of Beerse, Belgium, suspended trials of its heartburn drug, ticalopride, due to unspecified adverse events. Sepracor shares (NASDAQ:SEPR) dropped $8.19, or 19 percent, to close at $34.34 on the news. Ticalopride is an isomer of Janssen parent Johnson & Johnson¿s Propulsid.
¿ Transgene SA, of Strasbourg, France, will raise capital through a rights offering for new shares worth EUR79.72 million (US$71.53 million). Transgene will offer 5.31 million new shares at a subscription price of EUR15 per share to existing shareholders and holders of its American Depositor Shares in the ratio of 11 share rights to purchase 10 new shares or 33 ADS rights to purchase 30 new ADSs. Majority stakeholder bioMerieux-Pierre Fabre plans to exercise all share rights related to the shares it holds, which directly or indirectly account for 52.8 percent of Transgene¿s outstanding stock, for an aggregate subscription price of EUR42.07 million and said it will subscribe to up to 1.18 million additional shares at an aggregate subscription price of up to EUR17.7 million.