¿ 3-Dimensional Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Exton, Pa., said it entered a lease agreement for a 32,000-square-foot laboratory facility in Cranbury, N.J. The space will house an expanded research and development facility that will support the company's internal programs and collaborations. It will continue to be headquartered in Exton.
¿ AlphaRx Inc., of Richmond Hill, Ontario, signed a letter of intent to enter into a strategic alliance with Taiwan PanBiotic Laboratories Co. Ltd., of Kaohsuing, Taiwan, to commercialize AlphaRx drug discovery products in Taiwan. The agreement covers AlphaRx's nutraceutical products, and also calls for AlphaRx to reformulate certain PanBiotic products using AlphaRx's BCD drug delivery technology to improve efficacy, reduce side effects and improve product marketing life span. AlaphRx granted PanBiotic Taiwanese manufacturing and marketing exclusivity for the reformulated products in exchange for a 35 percent equity position in PanBiotic and a royalty stream from product sales.
¿ Artecel Sciences Inc., of Durham, N.C., said an in vitro proof-of-principle study showed the utility of adipose tissue as a source for human cells for soft tissue cosmesis, hematopoietic support in bone marrow transplantation and repair of bone and cartilage. The company said adipose-derived stromal cells can be manipulated to differentiate into cells resembling adipocytes, chondrocytes or osteoblasts, and that the isolated stromal cells are capable of supporting blood cell formation by hematopoietic stem cells.
¿ BioPulse International Inc., of San Diego, completed a $3 million bridge financing. Terms of the financing were not disclosed. The company said the financing will allow it to fulfill financial obligations in partnerships, increase its vaccine production capacity to accommodate backlog and, complete the criteria for American Stock Exchange listing.
¿ Biovation Ltd., of Aberdeen, UK, and Epicyte Pharmaceutical Inc., of San Diego, entered a research agreement to optimize antibodies for development through Epicyte's Plantibody technology by applying Biovation's Biodisplay and DeImmunization technologies to the antibody optimization. Biovation will earn research revenues, milestones and royalties.
¿ ChemNavigator, of San Diego, named Scott Hutton chief executive officer. Hutton is the former president of ChemNavigator, an Internet cheminformatics resource provider. He's also a founder of ChemNavigator, and the former vice president of marketing for Arena Pharmaceuticals.
¿ Collateral Therapeutics Inc., of San Diego, said results from the AGENT (angiogenic gene therapy) Phase I/II trial of its angiogenic gene therapy candidate Generx (Ad5FGF4) will be presented at the 50th Annual Scientific Session of the American College of Cardiology on March 19 in Orlando, Fla. The trial was designed to evaluate the safety and anti-ischemic effects of ascending doses of the treatment in patients with stable exertional angina.
¿ Durect Corp., of Cupertino, Calif., said it expects to complete enrollment of the 50-patient Phase II trial of lead product Duros sufentanil ahead of schedule. The time frame was not disclosed. The chronic pain therapeutic is designed to deliver sufentanil continuously for three months.
¿ DrugAbuse Sciences Inc., of Los Altos, Calif., said preliminary analysis of data from a Phase II trial examining the opiate-blocking ability of depot naltrexone indicated the drug candidate blocked opiate effects in a statistically significant manner. The trial randomized 15 heroin users to one of two doses of depot naltrexone followed by weekly doses of hydromorphone or placebo. Both doses, the company said, produced opiate-blockade effects as measured by subjective rating scales and measurement of pupil size.
¿ Hemispherx Biopharma Inc., of Philadelphia, released preliminary findings from its investigation of Ampligen for treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome. The company said findings in 13 patients suggest an increase in quality of life after 24 weeks of treatment.
¿ Heska Corp., of Fort Collins, Colo., completed a private placement of about 4.57 million shares for proceeds of about $5.7 million. Wells Fargo Van Kaspar, of San Francisco, acted as financial adviser. Heska discovers, develops and manufactures companion animal health products.
¿ Idun Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Diego, said data indicate caspase inhibitors have potential for use in the treatment of heart attack, stroke, acute liver failure, inflammatory diseases and sepsis. The company presented the data at the Miami Winter Symposium on Cell Death and Aging in Miami.
¿ International Wex Technologies Inc., of Vancouver, British Columbia, said a study of 11 terminally ill cancer patients with moderate to severe pain in a Chinese pallative setting indicated that the company's pain reliever Tetrodin increased quality of life. After dosing no more than three days, the company said, patients in the study reported pain relief within five to 30 minutes after dosing. Patients also reported mild to moderate side effects, including a tingling in the toes and around the mouth, and slight nausea and/or vomiting.
¿ LifeSpan BioSciences Inc., of Seattle, entered an agreement with Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., of New York, for a subscription to the first database on information on the expression and localization of G protein-coupled receptors. BMS will use the information database in its efforts toward identification and validation of target genes for its drug discovery efforts. Financial terms and details were undisclosed.
¿ Medarex Inc., of Princeton, N.J., and Seattle Genetics Inc., of Bothell, Wash., entered a strategic alliance to use Medarex's UltiMAb Human Antibody Development System to jointly develop and commercialize monoclonal antibody-based anticancer therapeutics. Seattle Genetics will provide novel targets to the collaboration for Medarex to use in generating fully human antibodies. The companies will share preclinical and clinical development costs and jointly commercialize any resulting products. Medarex will purchase $2 million of Seattle Genetics' stock concurrent with Seattle Genetics' proposed initial public offering.
¿ Novazyme Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Oklahoma City, said it opened its Biologics Manufacturing Facility, a multimillion-dollar complex for the production of biopharmaceuticals for its lead enzyme replacement therapies for treatment of lysosomal storage disorders. The 3,000-square-foot facility is located in Oklahoma City.
¿ Oncosis Inc., of San Diego, said it raised $10.6 million in the last 60 days. Most recently, the company received grants of $500,000 from the National Science Foundation and $884,000 from the National Institutes of Health to support continuing development of Photosis technology, a scanning cytometry, real-time image analysis laser-based treatment of cells within a mixed population.
¿ Panacea Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Rockville, Md., entered a collaborative research agreement with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, of Cambridge, Mass., covering development of fully human, high-affinity single-chain antibodies for Panacea's cancer platform technology. That technology is based on the enzyme aspartyl asparaginyl-beta hydroxylase (AAH). Financial terms and details were undisclosed.
¿ Progenics Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Tarrytown, N.Y., said it selected a lead candidate from a class of anti-HIV compounds called sulfated CCR5 peptides. Progenics also reported preclinical results of its anti-HIV candidates PRO 542 and PRO 140 that indicated the drugs act on the multistep nature of HIV entry into cells.
¿ Scios Inc., of Sunnyvale, Calif., initiated a Phase Ib trial of SCIO-469, an oral p38 kinase inhibitor for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. The double-blind, placebo-controlled, multiple-oral-dose study is designed to determine safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics in 20 patients. Scios expects results from the trial in the second quarter. Comparison of the data from this trial to a recently completed Phase Ia dose-ranging study will allow the company to establish an optimum dose and regimen for the Phase II trial planned for initiation in the fourth quarter.
¿ Trega Biosciences Inc., of San Diego, said it will convene a special meeting of shareholders on March 12 to consider the proposed acquisition of the company by LION Biosciences AG, of Heidelberg, Germany. LION and Trega announced their intent to merge in a $35 million stock swap in December. (See BioWorld Today, Dec. 28, 2000.)
¿ Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., said preliminary results from a Phase II, 28-day, 85-patient study of VX-175, an amprenavir HIV protease inhibitor prodrug, indicated that the drug in combination with abacavir and lamivudine produced a median decrease in HIV-1 RNA of about 2.0 log10 from baseline and a median increase of about 100 CD4+ cells. VX-175 is in two Phase III trials in antiretroviral-naove patients, including one evaluating the drug in combination with ritonavir, and an additional trial in treatment-experienced patients is expected to be announced in the first half of the year.