¿ Abgenix Inc., of Fremont Calif., said it plans to pay for its November 2000 acquisition of ImmGenics Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Vancouver, British Columbia, with approximately $77 million in cash, rather than with Abgenix common stock. Pursuant to the original terms of the acquisition, the prior shareholders of ImmGenics now have the right to receive the cash instead of stock and Abgenix intends to fund the purchase price from cash on hand. Abgenix's stock (NASDAQ:ABGX) climbed $7.187 Monday, or about 24 percent, to close at $37.50. (See BioWorld Today, Sept. 28, 2000.)
¿ AntiCancer Inc., of San Diego, scientists said they have developed a new technology that enables angiogenesis in tumors to be noninvasively imaged in mouse models of cancer. The technology allows genetically engineered tumor cells to become fluorescent by expressing the jellyfish green fluorescent protein. The new angiogenesis model is described in the current issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA.
¿ Atugen AG, of Berlin, entered a collaboration with G.O.T. Therapeutics GmbH, also of Berlin, to develop new lipid formulations for enhanced intracellular delivery of atugen's GeneBloc molecules. The companies will share all costs and intellectual property equally, and G.O.T. will retain exclusive use of resultant products in DNA therapy. Atugen will retain all other rights related to target discovery, validation and therapeutic use. GeneBloc technology is based on the delivery of oligonucleotides that reduce expression of specific genes in designated cells.
¿ Avax Technologies Inc., of Kansas City, Mo., said President and CEO Jeffrey Jonas resigned from his post. David Tousley, Avax chief financial officer, will assume Jonas' responsibilities temporarily while the company searches for a permanent CEO. Tousley also will assume the newly created role of chief operating officer. Avax's stock (NASDAQ:AVXT) dropped nearly 16 percent on the news Monday, closing at $2.531.
¿ Centaur Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Sunnyvale, Calif., said study results published in the journal Stroke indicate its small-molecule neuroprotective compound, NXY-059, developed under license by AstraZeneca plc, of London, demonstrated preclinical efficacy. The study demonstrated a "substantial" neuroprotective effect that translated to an "impressive" lessening of disability in an experimentally induced preclinical stroke model, the company said.
¿ Endovasc Ltd. Inc., of Montgomery, Texas, completed dog studies of its nicotine receptor agonist. The company said the positive results of the testing support advancing the research into the use of the nicotine receptor agonist as an angiogenic agent in ischemic pig models. That study is slated for completion in about 10 weeks. The company said it is continuing studies into the nicotine receptor agonist as a nonsurgical angiogenic therapy for blocked arteries to the heart.
¿ Exact Sciences Corp., of Maynard, Mass., launched a research study that will employ its proprietary deletion technology for the detection of microsatellite instability, caused by mutations in genes involved in DNA mismatch repair and occurring in 30 percent to 50 percent of proximal colon cancers. The study aims to evaluate the maximum potential of a stool-based DNA assay in accurately detecting proximal colorectal cancers that were undetected by earlier flexible sigmoidoscopy testing.
¿ Genetix Group plc, of New Milton, UK, entered a strategic alliance with Pall Corp., of East Hills, N.Y., to develop and commercialize novel membranes to optimize robotic high-density array printing and detection methods for DNA and proteins.
¿ Human Genome Sciences Inc., of Rockville, Md., said that a new compound, SB-435495, lowers levels of lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 (Lp-PLA2), an enzyme associated with formation of atherosclerotic plaques. The compound was discovered as part of collaboration between HGS and GlaxoSmithKline plc, of Brentford, UK.
¿ Genometrix Inc., of The Woodlands, Texas, withdrew its proposed initial public offering, a public sale of equity the company initially expected would raise up to $120 million. It later said it was going to offer 7 million shares at $10 to $12 per share. It filed for the IPO last March and the offering was jointly managed by Lehman Brothers Inc., of New York, as book-running manager, and Chase H&Q, of New York. Other underwriters were Dain Rauscher Wessels, of Minneapolis; Fidelity Capital Markets, of Boston; and Thomas Weisel Partners LLC, of San Francisco. The company provides high-throughput genomic services and information. (See BioWorld Today, March 17, 2000.)
¿ Infigen Inc., of Deforest, Wis., achieved its second milestone in its collaboration with Novartis Pharma AG, of Basel, Switzerland. The milestone triggered an undisclosed payment for the production of transgenic cloned pigs using Infigen's proprietary nuclear transfer-based cloning system, a methodology for the production of modified pig organs that can be designed for use as a source of donor organs.
¿ MacroMed Inc., of Sandy, Utah, appointed Steven Ratoff president and CEO. Ratoff is the former executive vice president and chief financial officer at Brown-Forman Corp. MacroMed focuses on the development of biodegradable injectable and oral polymeric drug delivery and formulations systems.
¿ Maxim Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Diego, said its preclinical study of its investigational caspase inhibitor, CV1013, was published in the Nov. 15, 2001, issue of Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology. The study showed CV1013 protected critical cells of the liver from programmed cell death in a mouse model.
¿ Morphotek Inc., of Philadelphia, received a competitive Emerging Fund Award from the Ben Franklin Technology Partners to support additional research into its in vivo gene altering platform technology for agricultural applications. The company's agricultural evolution programs are focused on generating genetically diverse plants with commercially valuable output traits.
¿ MVM Ltd., of London, said it plans to raise a second fund, MVM International Life Sciences Fund II, to invest in early stage life science companies globally. MVM aims to raise a minimum of #40 million (US$57.8 million) for the fund and already has intentions subject to contract from investors in its first fund, the UK Medical Ventures Fund, for at least #22.5 million.
¿ Pheromone Sciences Corp., of Toronto, completed a private placement of 2 million special warrants at C$1 each for proceeds of C$2 million (US$1.31 million). Each warrant is exercisable into one common share and half a warrant. Each whole warrant entitles the holder to purchase one common share of the company at an exercise price of C$1.25 per share for one year. The company said it will use proceeds from the offering to support its research and development, ongoing operations and business development.
¿ Rosetta Inpharmatics Inc., of Kirkland, Wash., said that Immunex Corp., of Seattle, licensed the Rosetta Revolver Expression Data Analysis System. The system provides high-capacity data storage, retrieval and analysis of expression data.
¿ SafeScience Inc., of Boston, said its consumer and commercial product lines will be discontinued immediately. It will record changes, primarily noncash, of approximately $1.75 million, or 7 cents per share, which will be reflected in the fourth-quarter financial statements as a loss on discontinued operations. This action reflects its previously announced intention to focus on drug development.
¿ Sequenom Inc., of San Diego, and the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation, of San Diego, will collaborate to validate and map genetic variations, or single nucleotide polymorphisms, in the mouse genome and apply the information to identify candidate genes associated with human disease. They will work together to analyze publicly available and proprietary SNPs across DNA samples from GNF's collection of inbred mouse strains using Sequenom's assay design and MassARRAY technology. Sequenom and GNF will share intellectual property generated from the research, and GNF purchased a MassARRAY system from Sequenom as part of the collaboration.
¿ StemCells Inc., of Sunnyvale, Calif., entered a five-year lease for a 40,000-square-foot facility in Palo Alto, Calif. The facility includes extensive vivarium space, laboratories and office space as well as a good manufacturing practices suite. The space will enable the company, it said, to better achieve its goal of utilizing genetically unmodified human stem cells for the treatment of disorders of the nervous system, liver and pancreas.
¿ The Medicines Company, of Cambridge, Mass., reached its enrollment target of 1,000 patients in part one of its REPLACE program, a Phase IIIb randomized trial examining Angiomax (bivalirudin) in patients undergoing angioplasty. After evaluating data from part one of the trial, the company plans to randomize about 6,000 patients who are referred for angioplasty in the second part of the trial.
¿ United Therapeutics Corp., of Research Triangle Park, N.C., completed enrollment in its Phase III study of oral beraprost in patients with pulmonary hypertension. The 116-patient, randomized, 10-center, double-blind, placebo-controlled study is designed to evaluate the compound's efficacy, and results from the 12-month evaluation are expected in 2002.