¿ Aphton Corp., of Miami, said results from a Phase II trial in advanced pancreatic cancer patients evaluating the company's anti-gastrin therapeutic vaccine indicated a greater increase in survival in treated patients compared to the increased survival rates of anti-gastrin vaccine-treated patients in a prior Phase II trial. The study of 33 evaluable patients produced an overall median survival rate of 8.6 months after initiation of therapy compared to the first study's median survival rate of 6.7 months.
¿ Atairgin Technologies Inc., of Irvine, Calif., said it will co-fund a $400,000 program for the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and Northwestern University's Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center to expand lipid signaling research in therapeutic applications in ovarian cancer. The program, funded in collaboration with The Lynne Cohen Foundation, will allow for exploration of additional lipid-based therapeutic applications and their role in ovarian cancer progression.
¿ AVI BioPharma Inc., of Portland, Ore., in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute and the University of Washington, presented findings indicating that Neugene antisense technology can regulate stem cell proliferation and differentiation. The research showed Neugene can selectively regulate either proliferation or differentiation of bone marrow stem cells. Neugene is targeted against the TGF-beta gene.
¿ Commonwealth Biotechnologies Inc., of Richmond, Va., and november AG, of Erlangen, Germany, entered a research and development joint venture agreement. The joint venture will use november's electrohybridization technology in the development of new methods for the detection of microbial contamination in a variety of areas, including water and soil. The companies already have a collaboration centered on Commonwealth's synthesis of peptides for november's bio-labeling project, which creates forgery-proof biological ear tags for farm animals.
¿ Eli Lilly and Co., of Indianapolis, said results from its Phase III trial of drotrecogin alfa indicated that the compound reduced the risk of death from sepsis with associated organ dysfunction by 19.4 percent. Drotecogin alfa, or Zovant, is a recombinant version of a naturally occurring protein C.
¿ KS Biomedix Holdings plc, of London, said it moved its lead project, KSB301, into Phase IIb development by seeking approval in Europe for a 400-patient study in patients with osteoarthritis. The multicenter, multinational study is designed to finalize the regulatory package prior to initiation of Phase III studies.
¿ Millennium Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., initiated a Phase II trial of LDP-02 for ulcerative colitis. The compound is a humanized monoclonal antibody for treatment of inflammatory bowel disease, including both ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. The multicenter, placebo-controlled, double-blind study is designed to determine the safety and effectiveness of LDP-02 in patients with ulcerative colitis.
¿ Orphan Medical Inc., of Minneapolis, said an article on Antizol Injection published in the New England Journal of Medicine reported that Antizol appears to be a safe and effective antidote for methanol poisoning. In a study of 11 patients diagnosed with methanol poisoning, nine of the patients survived, and the two patients who died had anoxic brain injury at the time of enrollment. Antizol, approved in December 1997 for ethylene glycol poisoning and suspected ethylene glycol ingestion and for methanol poisoning in December 2000, produced no changes in mental status, hepatotoxicity, or hypoglycemia.
¿ Tibotec Group NV, of Mechelen, Belgium, said Phase II data from a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter seven-day monotherapy study of TMC 120 in 43 HIV-infected, treatment-naove patients showed the compound to be highly potent. The data indicated that the compound produced up to a 100-fold decrease in viral load and a 33-fold mean decrease at the end of the seven-day trial.
¿ Transkaryotic Therapies Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., filed a notice of appeal regarding the decision in late January in its patent infringement case against Amgen Inc., of Thousand Oaks, Calif. TKT had vowed to appeal the ruling that it infringed on Amgen patents centered on Epogen alfa, Amgen's recombinant erythropoietin anemia therapeutic. (See BioWorld Today, Jan. 23, 2001.)
¿ VaxGen Inc., of Brisbane, Calif., presented data that indicated AIDS vaccines under development by the company induce antibodies that bind to a broader variety of HIV subtypes than expected. A separate study indicated that an adjuvant in development significantly reduces the amount of vaccine material required to induce an immune response. The data came from the final report of the company's Phase I/II trial of bivalent AIDSVAX B/B and B/E.