Biomax Informatics AG, of Martinsried, Germany, and the German subsidiary of internet applications specialist Sun Microsystems are collaborating to deliver the Sun Solaris system as a premier platform for the Biomax BioRS Integration and Retrieval System for databases containing biological information such as DNA sequences. By porting to Solaris and using the Sun platform for development, Biomax will be able to offer its customers enterprise-wide deployment of its solutions through a client-server model, Biomax said.

Evotec Biosystems AG, of Hamburg, Germany, and Slough, UK-based Celltech Group plc signed an agreement on bioassays to be developed by Evotec in an evaluation study of Evotec's proprietary VLiP (virus-like particle) technology. Evotec uses a viral protein, which causes budding of cell membranes. Special tagging enables the researchers to generate membrane vesicles with certain receptors of interest at high concentration in its normal physiological environment for cellular assays, Evotec spokeswoman Anne Hennecke explained. The technology eliminates problems of inaccuracy, a lack of reproducibility or instability, Evotec said. Evotec will apply its technology to two of Celltech's G protein-coupled receptor targets. On successful completion of the evaluation, Celltech will have the option for a nonexclusive license to use VLiP technology.

Mologen Holding AG, of Berlin, and Peterborough, UK-based Weston Medical Group plc plan to jointly run clinical trials to develop a vaccination technology that combines Mologen's gene-vector technology, MIDGE, and Weston's needle-free Intraject vaccine application technology. For Mologen, a specialist in genetic vaccination, Intraject could be an alternative to gene-guns, "which for us are inconceivable in mass applications," the company's managing financial director Matthias Reichel said. Mologen, together with pharmaceutical company Aventis SA and academic partners, has two Phase II/III trials ongoing. Veterinary applications laboratory trials and a field trial are ongoing in Switzerland. Separately, Mologen acquired 51 percent of Berlin-based bcd biomedical consulting+development to gain access to bcd's knowledge of animal trials on genetic vaccination and gene therapy. Mologen has paid a five-digit Euro total for the shares and will invest a further EUR400,000 in bcd.

ReGen Therapeutics plc, of London, said that the steering committee supervising its 90-patient trial of Colostrinin in the treatment of Alzheimer?s disease recommended the study be continued to its end. This follows an interim analysis of the first 45 patients who complete the first part of the study. There were no safety issues and there was an encouraging trend toward demonstrating efficacy. The committee recommended that 20 percent more patients should be enrolled to increase the power of the study. CEO Mike Harvey said the comments were encouraging. "The expansion of the trial by the relatively small number of patients involved should have no significant time or cost implications."

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