¿ BioLabs Inc., of New York, appointed Greg McCartney president and CEO. McCartney is the current chairman of the BioLabs board, and is one of the founding officers and directors of the company. This will be his second tenure as president and CEO of the company.
¿ Biomira Inc., of Edmonton, Alberta, terminated its agreement with Biovector Therapeutics SA, of Toulouse, France, for the co-development of Biomira's idiotypic vaccine against B-cell lymphoma. The vaccine uses a patient's own cancerous cells to develop a specific vaccine. Biomira plans to pursue the program independently. Biomira said Biovector changed its corporate structure and is focused on developing its own drug delivery systems, retaining no rights to the idiotypic vaccine product.
¿ BioSource International Inc., of Camarillo, Calif., entered a strategic partnership with MiraiBio Inc., of Alameda, Calif., to create a multiplex system based on LabMAP technology BioSouce licensed from Luminex Corp., of Dallas, in December. MiraiBio will develop software to use with BioSource's assay panels for drug discovery focused on extracellular signaling, neuroscience and signal transduction.
¿ Celera Genomics Group, of Rockville, Md., signed multiyear agreements with Emory University, of Atlanta, and the Van Andel Institute, of Grand Rapids, Mich., allowing both access to all of Celera's database products through the Celera Discovery System. The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston also has access to the databases as part of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas subscription deal signed in July 2000. Financial terms were not disclosed.
¿ Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, of Seattle, said a strain of human papillomavirus called HPV 18, found in up to 30 percent of women with cervical cancer, appears to be associated with a mortality rate nearly double other HPV-related cervical cancers. Results of the study on the HPV strain were published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology on Friday and confirm previous studies that suggest HPV 18 may be a molecular marker for predicting the diagnosing of women with early stage cervical cancer.
¿ GPC Biotech, of Martinsried, Germany, said it achieved two milestones in its alliance with
Byk Gulden, the pharmaceutical group of Altana AG, of Constance, Germany. The first milestone involved clustering the mode-of-action of known antibacterial compounds and differentiating between their various molecular mechanisms. The second milestone involved GPC using its Reverse Genomics technology to analyze and characterize Byk Gulden's lead drug candidates for efficacy againstHelicobacter pyloriinfections. The milestone payment amounts were not disclosed.
¿ Imaging Research Inc., of St. Catharines, Ontario, entered a collaboration with Biogen Inc., of Cambridge, Mass. to apply Imaging Research's statistical informatics software, ArrayStat, to Biogen's genome arrays. Biogen said the addition will enable it to analyze its gene expression arrays more rapidly.
¿ International Wex Technologies Inc., of Vancouver, British Columbia, said seven validation tests aimed at confirming previous findings on Tetrodin, its treatment for opioid addiction and pain, were completed. The company said the tests emphasize the confidence level it has in its investigational new drug application.
¿ Invitrogen Corp., of San Diego, said Danish company Display Systems Biotech A/S, New England Biolabs Inc., of Beverly, Mass., and Promega Corp., of Madison, Wis., settled pending litigation for their infringement of Invitrogen's patents covering modified reverse transcriptase enzymes with reduced levels of RNase H activity. The Invitrogen patents at issue include U.S. Patent Nos. 5,405,776; 5,244,797; 5,668,005 and 6,063,608. All three companies agreed to pay Invitrogen damages for selling RNase H-minus reverse transcriptase products. Each company also agreed to cease all infringing activities and to destroy all inventory of infringing products.
¿ Millennium Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., and Ilex Oncology Inc., of San Antonio, said MabCampath was recommended for approval under exceptional circumstances in the European Union by the European Medicines Evaluation Agency's Committee on Proprietary Medicinal Products. The opinion was forwarded to the European Commission, with approval expected in July. The exceptional circumstances would require the partners to conduct a post-approval trial, which already is planned. The humanized monoclonal antibody treatment for chronic lymphocytic leukemia is awaiting approval in the U.S. following a positive recommendation by the Oncologics Drugs Advisory Committee. Germany-based Schering AG is the global marketing partner. (See BioWorld Today, Dec. 15, 2000.)
¿ National Institutes of Health, of Bethesda, Md., said scientists demonstrated adult stem cells from mouse bone marrow could become functioning heart cells when transplanted into a damaged mouse heart, and that the transplant can partially restore the organ's function. Researchers published the findings in the April 4, 2001, issue of Nature. The NIH also said that the National Human Genome Research Institute and the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas found a tumor suppressor gene on chromosome 7 that appears to be involved in a wide range of cancers. A study published in the April issue of Nature Genetics reported the finding, naming the gene ST7 for Suppression of Tumorigenicity 7.
¿ Orphan Medical Inc., of Minneapolis, said the FDA extended its priority review of the new drug application for Xyrem oral solution for the treatment of narcolepsy. The decision allows FDA review of additional data submitted by Orphan Medical in response to the FDA's request for clarification of data. The FDA will continue its review and reschedule a meeting of the Peripheral and Central Nervous System Advisory Committee for review of Xyrem. The FDA's new action deadline for the Xyrem NDA is early July.
¿ Packard BioScience Co., of Meriden, Conn., said it is postponing a 10-million-share offering due to market conditions. The company filed in February for the offering, which included 3 million shares to be offered by Packard and 7 million shares offered by selling stockholders.
¿ Ricerca LLC, of Concord, Ohio, was awarded a drug development contract from Cephalon Inc., of West Chester, Pa., for the production of Cephalon's angiogenesis inhibitor for the treatment of solid tumors. Ricerca will produce kilogram quantities of the active pharmaceutical ingredient for use in Phase I studies scheduled for 2001.
¿ St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, of Memphis, Tenn., identified the genetic basis explaining why some people don't express CYP3A5, a specific protein that helps the body metabolize half of all drugs. The genetic mutation impacts a greater percentage of people than previously believed. Results are published in the April issue of Nature Genetics.
¿ Symbollon Corp., of Framingham, Mass., said it is changing its name to Symbollon Pharmaceuticals Inc. to reflect its drug development efforts.
¿ Targeted Genetics Corp., of Seattle, said collaborators presented data at the Keystone Symposium of AIDS Vaccines in the New Millennium in Keystone, Colo., on preclinical studies using recombinant adeno-associated virus vectors as a vaccination. The presentation reviewed results of an AAV-based vaccine designed to protect against infection by SIV, the monkey equivalent of HIV. Experiments showed the vaccine had a good safety profile and appeared to show it could reduce SIV levels.