¿ Aastrom Biosciences Inc., of Ann Arbor, Mich., entered an agreement with the Universitatsklinikum Charite in Berlin and the University of Gottingen in Gottingen, Germany, to begin evaluation of Aastrom¿s dendritic cell product, DC-I, for use in cancer vaccines. Aastrom recently disclosed the initiation of similar testing in the U.S.
¿ Achillion Pharmaceuticals Inc., of New Haven, Conn., implemented a collaborative research and development agreement with the National Cancer Institute, of Bethesda, Md., and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The agreement will use Achillion¿s proprietary Zinc Finger Targeting Technology to identify and optimize effective novel therapeutic agents for HIV/AIDS treatment, targeting zinc finger segments of proteins critical to viral replication. Financial details were not released.
¿ Biolog Inc., of Hayward, Calif., released protocols using Phenotype MicroArrays for a range of microbial species. Phenotype MicroArrays are cellular assays that provide global cellular analysis and specific information about cell function.
¿ BioTransplant Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., said its double transplantation procedure that eliminates the need for whole-body radiation treatment continues to show promise. Results from the two patients with end-stage renal disease secondary to multiple myeloma will be presented at the Transplant 2001 meeting in Chicago on May 14. The procedure, the AlloMune System, prepares patients for transplant with a combination of mild chemotherapy and T-cell antibodies, allowing the patient to accept donor marrow while keeping his or her own marrow, leading to a blended immune system called ¿mixed chimerism¿ that prevents rejection of the transplanted kidney and suppresses an attack by the donor¿s immune cells on the recipient¿s organs.
¿ Demegen Inc., of Pittsburgh, will initiate a Phase I/II trial evaluating a P-113 peptide-containing mouth rinse for the treatment of oral candidiasis. The proof-of-principle study will assess the product candidate¿s efficacy in a 40-patient, two-week trial.
¿ EntreMed Inc., of Rockville, Md., said a report published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry details research on TFPI, tissue factor pathway inhibitor, a naturally occurring anticoagulant molecule. The article reports that TFPI inhibits the growth of endothelial cells and that the very low density lipoprotein receptor was identified as a novel receptor for TFPI and mediates TFPI¿s inhibitory activity on endothelial cells.
¿ Genomic Solutions Inc., of Ann Arbor, Mich., said it reached an agreement with Perkin-Elmer Inc., of Boston, to end the litigation Perkin-Elmer brought in Delaware Chancery Court seeking to prevent GSI from entering a transaction with a third party that would have eliminated Perkin-Elmer¿s call right on GSI callable common stock. The settlement calls for GSI to purchase 873,016 shares, about 69 percent of the total shares of GSI held by Perkin-Elmer, at the original purchase price. Perkin-Elmer¿s right to acquire GSI callable stock automatically terminates as a result of the GSI purchase, and all outstanding GSI callable shares will convert into common stock. GSI said the elimination of the call option on the company was a strategic necessity after its IPO last year. Perkin-Elmer will retain a 1.6 percent stake in GSI.
¿ InfiMed Therapeutics Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., and Nikken Chemicals Co. Ltd., of Tokyo, entered a collaboration on the development of InfiMed¿s Infitropin CR, a controlled-release human growth hormone (hGH) product for treatment of growth failure in children due to insufficient secretion of endogenous growth hormone and Turner Syndrome. Japan, the company said, is the largest market segment opportunity for the hGH formulation. Financial terms of the development agreement were undisclosed.
¿ Interferon Sciences Inc., of New Brunswick, N.J., exercised its option to acquire 43 percent of the common stock of Metacine Inc., of Pittsburgh, a developer of cancer vaccines based on dendritic cell technology. Interferon Sciences also received a five-year warrant to purchase an additional 9 percent of the shares of Metacine at an increased value.
¿ Medicure Inc., of Winnipeg, Manitoba, completed its Phase I trial of MC-1, and is proceeding toward a Phase II trial. Data from the trial are being used to support Phase II applications to the FDA and to Canada¿s Therapeutic Products Directorate. It said MC-1 has cardioprotective properties and is expected to provide benefit to heart attack patients and people who undergo coronary bypass surgery and angioplasty.
¿ Peregrine Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Tustin, Calif., said a Phase I study will evaluate the use of Cotara in combination with radiofrequency ablation as a treatment for liver cancers. Cotara is currently under investigation for the treatment of brain cancer in a multicenter Phase II study.
¿ ThromboGenics Ltd., of Dublin, Ireland, initiated two Phase II trials of SY162, a clot-dissolving agent. One trial is for the treatment of central venous catheter occlusion and the other for the treatment of acute peripheral arterial occlusive disease. The central venous catheter trial will enroll about 48 patients; the peripheral arterial occlusive disease trial will enroll 20 patients.
¿ Valentis Inc., of Burlingame, Calif., dosed the first four patients in a Phase I trial of its intravenously administered human interleukin-2 gene medicine, VLTS-587. The trial will determine the maximum tolerable dose of the medication in patients with lung cancers. VLTS-587 is designed to express the IL-2 gene locally in the lung, thus minimizing systemic exposure and associated adverse effects.
¿ Zycos Inc., of Lexington, Mass., said it will present data on its lead product, ZYC101, for the treatment of pre-cancerous infections caused by human papillomavirus at two upcoming conferences sponsored by the National Cancer Institute and the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases. Zycos scientists will report on the safety and immunogenicity of ZYC101 in cervical dysplasia and dysplasia patients.