¿ Advanced Photonix Inc., of Camarillo, Calif., began discussions with Jenner Biotherapies Inc., of Ramon, Calif., concerning a possible acquisition transaction. Jenner has developed five compounds with potential application as cancer vaccines and/or for vaccine administration and immune system responses to cancer cells, including a macrophage activator for immune system response that has completed a Phase III trial. Advanced Photonix supplies silicon-based electro-optical products and design solutions.
¿ Affymetrix Inc., of Santa Clara, Calif., and Oxford Gene Technology Ltd., of Oxford, UK, settled all existing litigation between them, covering several lawsuits. Financial details were not disclosed. OGT and Affymetrix will dismiss the pending lawsuits in the Delaware Federal Court, and both parties will drop their revocation actions challenging each other's patents in the United Kingdom. OGT will drop its infringement actions and will withdraw its petition for leave to appeal to the House of Lords in the license action in the UK. Both companies will cease their involvement in opposition proceedings against the other's European patent in the European Patent Office. (See BioWorld Today, Nov. 3, 2000, and Nov. 13, 2000.)
¿ Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Diego, and Alkermes Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., initiated a Phase I study of AC2993 LAR, a long-acting-release formulation of Amylin's drug candidate, AC2993 (synthetic exendin-4), based on Alkermes' Medisorb injectable sustained-release delivery technology. AR2993 is being developed by Amylin as a treatment for Type II diabetes. The study is being conducted by Alkermes in Europe and funded by Amylin.
¿ Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Diego, entered a receptor-discovery research collaboration with Taisho Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., of Tokyo, initially for identification studies for a receptor of interest to Taisho. The companies believe the receptor, once identified, will be a G protein-coupled receptor. Following identification, cloning and sequencing, the second part of the collaboration will focus on applying Arena's CART technology to the receptor, followed by screening of the CART-activated receptor with either or both of Arena's and Taisho's in-house chemical compound library. Taisho will make an up-front research and development fee payment for the first part of the collaboration. Additional terms were not disclosed.
¿ British Biotech plc, of Oxford, England, agreed to sell its office and laboratory facility, Windrush Court, for a total consideration of #12.7 million (US$18.2 million) and agreed to take a 20-year lease at an initial annual rental of #1.1 million.
¿ Cambridge BioScience Ltd., of Cambridge, UK, changed its name to Cytomyx Ltd. It will focus on providing target discovery and validation services to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.
¿ Immune Network Ltd., of Vancouver, British Columbia, said its Phase I study in Canada has been halted, due to an unexplained incidence of adverse findings in blood samples from healthy volunteers who received only dapsone. Government and contract laboratories are investigating these findings and their possible causes. No adverse findings were obtained with blood samples from subjects who received donepezil. It said it planned to restart a Phase I trial within a few months of the completed investigation. The DAD2000 international Phase II study in Alzheimer's patients receiving either dapsone or placebo is unaffected and on schedule.
¿ Inex Pharmaceuticals Corp., of Vancouver, British Columbia, began enrolling patients in a Phase II trial for its lead product, Onco TCS, as part of a first-line treatment for aggressive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. The trial is being conducted at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Onco TCS also is being evaluated in a pivotal Phase II/III trial for second or later relapsed aggressive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and two Phase II trials.
¿ Kinexus Bioinformatics Corp., of Vancouver, British Columbia, received a second tranche investment of $250,000 from BIRC Corp., of Vancouver, British Columbia, bringing its total financial funding from the company to $500,000. Kinexus uses a platform technology to track the presence and activation states of different kinases and their targets in cell and tissue specimens. It is using the data from its screening service to build bioinformatics databases, which will be offered to customers through a web-based subscription.
¿ MPM Capital, of South San Francisco, launched the MPM BioEquities Fund to invest in biotechnology and life sciences companies. This follows the successful launches of the BioVentures I funds in 1997 and the MPM BioVentures II fund in 2000.
¿ NeoTherapeutics Inc., of Irvine, Calif., initiated a 12-week, open-label study of Neotrofin in patients with subacute, complete spinal cord injury. Ten patients are scheduled to be enrolled and will receive Neotrofin for 12 weeks. The Standard Neurological Classification of Spinal Cord Injury manual motor exam score will be used as the primary evidence of preliminary efficacy.
¿ PowderJect Pharmaceuticals plc, of Oxford, UK, and its wholly owned subsidiary, Evans Vaccines, won a contract to supply tuberculosis vaccines and diagnostic tests to the UK's Department of Health. The two-year contract covers tuberculosis vaccines for adults and children, as well as tuberculin tests used to identify those who require vaccination. Evans Vaccines is the sole supplier supporting the Department of Health's school vaccination campaign. Financial terms were not disclosed.
¿ Progen Industries Ltd., of Brisbane, Australia, entered an agreement with Griffith University to fund a research collaboration to discover new heparanase inhibitors for the treatment of inflammatory diseases including multiple sclerosis and inflammatory bowel disease. Progen will invest up to $1.4 million and the research will be conducted at the university's Centre for Biomolecular Science and Drug Discovery in Queensland.
¿ Proteome Sciences plc, of Cobham, UK, will set up a proteomics facility at King's College, London, within the college's Institute of Psychiatry. Also, they entered a collaboration to address neurodegenerative diseases. Proteome Sciences will provide protein separation, identification and characterization skills and the Institute of Psychiatry will provide its expertise in pathogenic mechanisms for neurodegenerative diseases. Proteome Sciences will have the option for an exclusive license agreement to commercialize resulting products.
¿ Unigene Laboratories Inc., of Fairfield, N.J., said Pfizer Inc., of New York, terminated its oral calcitonin license agreement with Unigene, effective September 2001, citing scientific and technical reasons. The notification included Pfizer's analysis of the data from last year's Phase I/II study involving approximately 180 women with osteoporosis. All the rights to oral calcitonin will revert to Unigene, and Unigene will acquire all of the technology and data developed by Pfizer in connection with the program. Unigene's stock (OTCBB:UGNE) fell 55 cents Monday, or about 55 percent, to close at 42 cents.
¿ ViroLogic Inc., of South San Francisco, agreed to assist Chiron Corp., of Emeryville, Calif., in clinical evaluation of new anti-HIV agents in development at Chiron. Chiron will use ViroLogic's phenotypic drug resistance test, PhenoSense HIV, to assess drug activity against HIV strains that are resistant to currently available drugs. PhenoSense HIV will be used to evaluate the effectiveness of Chiron's investigational non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors. Financial terms were not disclosed.