¿ Aronex Pharmaceuticals Inc., of The Woodlands, Texas, provided an update on its program designed to reduce spending and focus its principal resources on maximizing shareholder value. It is evaluating its ongoing clinical development programs for each of its products based on the likelihood for approval, the cost of the proposed clinical trial and the inherent risk profile. The company made similar statements following receipt of a nonapproval letter from the FDA for its new drug application amendment for Atragen as a treatment for acute promyelocytic leukemia. (See BioWorld Today, Jan. 9, 2001.)

¿ BioChem Pharma Inc., of Laval, Quebec, said Phase I leukemia data on Troxatyl were published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Early results show Troxatyl demonstrated broad antileukemic activity. Troxatyl also is in Phase II trials for the treatment of various cancers.

¿ Cell Therapeutics Inc., of Seattle, said the European Agency for the Evaluation of Medicinal Products validated the marketing authorization application filed in November for Trisenox injection for the treatment of relapsed acute promyelocytic leukemia. Validation of the MAA is the EMEA's initial recognition of the quality of the application and begins the technical review process with the Committee for Proprietary Medicinal Products, one of the EMEA's scientific committees.

¿ Chiron Corp., of Emeryville, Calif., granted the R.W. Johnson Pharmaceutical Research Institute a nonexclusive license for the research, development and commercialization of small-molecule therapeutics against a specific hepatitis C virus drug target contained in HCV genomes. R.W. Johnson is a member of the Johnson & Johnson, of New Brunswick, N.J., family of companies. The license allows PRI to operate under certain Chiron patents to screen for drug candidates that inhibit the hepatitis C virus. Financial terms were not disclosed.

¿ Cytoclonal Pharmaceutics Inc., of Dallas, said its board approved the open-market purchase of up to $1 million of its shares of common stock as treasury stock.

¿ Demegen Inc., of Pittsburgh, received a $400,000 grant from the Pacific West Cancer Fund and the National Cancer Coalition, both of Seattle, to expand its efforts to develop therapies to treat cancer.

¿ EntreMed Inc., of Rockville, Md., said it received U.S. Patent No. 6,174,861 from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, covering all fragments of Endostatin protein that have anti-angiogenic activity. The patent is owned by Children's Hospital in Boston and has been exclusively licensed worldwide to EntreMed. EntreMed now owns the use of all forms of the Endostatin molecule derived from the collagen XVIII and the collagen XV and the pregastric esterase molecule for treatment of angiogenic-mediated diseases.

¿ GenomicFX LP, of Austin, Texas, acquired the livestock genomics company Genetic Solutions Pty. Ltd., of Brisbane, Australia. GenomicFX develops genomic information products and services designed to improve meat quality, food safety and livestock production efficiency.

¿ Gilead Sciences Inc., of Foster City, Calif., said its stockholders approved an increase in the number of authorized shares of its common stock from 100 million to 500 million, enabling the company to complete a two-for-one stock split. As result of the split, Gilead will have about 94.3 million shares outstanding.

¿ Heska Corp., of Fort Collins, Colo., entered an exclusive agreement with the Torrey Mesa Research Institute, of La Jolla, Calif., to evaluate a collection of Heska's proprietary genes in TMRI's novel expression and delivery platforms for the ability to alleviate and prevent clinical symptoms of allergic disease.

¿ NexMed Inc., of Robbinsville, N.J., said the China State Drug Administration approved its proprietary topical treatment for erectile dysfunction for distribution and sale within China. The product will be manufactured and marketed under the Befar trademark, and NexMed said it will be the first commercial topical treatment for ED approved anywhere in the world.

¿ PPL Therapeutics plc, of Edinburgh, Scotland, signed an exclusive commercial representation agreement for the Japanese market with Nihon Nosan Kogyo K.K. (Nosan Corp.). Nosan will provide sales and marketing support in order to promote PPL's transgenic production technology platform to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies in Japan. The agreement is success driven, and PPL will pay Nosan a percentage of the contract value.

¿ Progen Industries Ltd., of Brisbane, Australia, received the final report marking the conclusion of its PI-88 Phase Ib trial in human cancer patients, and confirmed its plan to proceed with Phase II trials of the drug. PI-88, a sulfated oligosaccharide and Progen's lead product, has been shown to have anti-angiogenic and anti-metastatic properties.

¿ TranXenoGen Inc., of Shrewsbury, Mass., said it generated germline chickens that have an additional gene coding for insulin in all their cells. The second-generation germline birds were bred from chimeric chickens produced using its nonviral transfection technology or proprietary expression vector. Separately, TranXenoGen completed the purchase of an 80,000 square-foot facility in Shrewsbury, Mass.