¿ ArQule Inc., of Woburn, Mass., closed its merger with Camitro Corp. The $95 million merger will add in silico predictive ADMET modeling to the ArQule platform of rational chemistry design tools. (See BioWorld Today, Jan. 17, 2001.)
¿ Brookhaven National Laboratory, of Upton, N.Y., said dopamine might play a role in obesity. According to research published in the Feb. 3, 2001, issue of The Lancet, obese people have fewer receptors for dopamine, and may eat more in an effort to stimulate the dopamine circuits of their brains. Brookhaven is a Department of Energy lab.
¿ CoPharma Inc., of Hopkinton, Mass., acquired worldwide rights for Beta-Lapachone (CO-501), a preclinical anticancer compound with potential for treatment of ovarian, breast and prostate cancers, from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. The compound is the third in CoPharma's portfolio of in-licensed development-stage compounds. Financial terms of the arrangement were undisclosed.
¿ Crucell NV, of Leiden, the Netherlands, signed a production agreement with DirectGene Inc., of Annapolis, Md., to manufacture DirectGene's therapeutic product for studies in the United States. Crucell will manufacture clinical-grade batches of DirectGene's product for treatment of prostate cancer using its human cell line production platform, PER.C6. Financial terms were not disclosed.
¿ Endovasc Ltd. Inc., of Montgomery, Texas, said results from its study of nicotine receptor agonists in a rabbit hind-limb ischemia model confirm earlier mouse studies of the nicotine agonist receptor. Those earlier studies indicated significant angiogenic efficacy over fibroblast growth factor and Del-1.
¿ Genome Therapeutics Corp., of Waltham, Mass., said it forged a contract with the Wyeth-Lederle Vaccines business unit of Wyeth-Ayerst Research, a division of American Home Products Corp., of Madison, N.J., to identify the complete DNA map of an unreleased pathogenic organism. Genome Therapeutics will generate DNA sequence information for an entire genome in support of vaccine development projects at Wyeth-Lederle.
¿ Illumigen Biosciences Inc., of Seattle, launched GeneLamp, a combination of genetic, genomic and statistical analyses that sorts Human Genome Project data in conjunction with Illumigen proprietary experimental work. The platform is designed to use Illumigen work focused on detecting particular patterns in DNA sequence and gene expression data collected through Illumigen's proprietary population access programs.
¿ ImClone Systems Inc., of New York, said the FDA granted fast-track designation to its refractory colorectal carcinoma treatment, IMC-C225. The compound, an anti-epidermal growth factor receptor monoclonal antibody, is under investigation in a series of Phase II and Phase III trials in combination with chemotherapy.
¿ Immune Network Ltd., of Vancouver, exercised its remaining option to purchase about 6.7 million shares of Meditech Pharmaceuticals Inc., also of Vancouver. The purchase increases Immune Network's stake in Meditech to 10 million shares. Meditech has filed with the SEC for a $30 million private equity financing. (See BioWorld Today July 7, 2000.)
¿ Immunomedics Inc., of Morris Plains, N.J., said it received $18 million as an up-front payment from Amgen Inc., of Thousand Oaks, Calif., in accordance with their recent licensing agreement. The agreement provides Amgen with exclusive rights to clinical development and commercialization of Immunomedics' naked CD22 antibody product, epratuzumab, for the treatment of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in North America and Australia. (See BioWorld Today, Dec. 19, 2000.)
¿ InKine Pharmaceutical Co. Inc., of Blue Bell, Pa., entered an agreement with an unnamed pharmaceutical company for manufacture of IBStat, InKine's antispasmodic product. InKine plans to market the product to gastroenterologists for use as an acute care product for a variety of indications including spasm due to colonoscopy. InKine will market the product behind Visicol, its lead product for bowel cleansing prior to colonoscopy.
¿ Microbia Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., entered an exclusive license agreement with the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research covering fungal biofilm formation and means for identifying compounds that inhibit fungal biofilm formation. Microbia said the acquisition complements its existing bacterial biofilm drug development program. The company's underlying research on fungal biofilm formation appears in the Feb. 2, 2001, issue of Science.
¿ MWG-Biotech AG, of Ebersberg, Germany, and Affymetrix Inc., of Santa Clara, Calif., replaced their existing agreement with a value-added reseller agreement for the sale of Affymetrix's spotted array instrumentation in Europe, North America and South America. MWG-Biotech will now offer the spotted array instrumentation in combination with their existing array and reagent product offerings. The 1999 agreement was expanded in October.
¿ Oxford BioMedica plc, of Oxford, UK, signed an agreement with the French Centre for National Scientific Research and the University of Montpellier, giving BioMedica exclusive access to antibody technology developed by Marc Piechaczyk at the university. BioMedica will pay an up-front fee, milestones and royalties on sales. The technology covers the general concept of genetic delivery of antibodies for use in the treatment of diseases, including cancer.
¿ Palatin Technologies Inc., of Princeton, N.J., began enrolling patients in a Phase I safety study of PT-141, the company's erectile dysfunction therapeutic. The double-blind, placebo-controlled, dose-escalating study is designed to evaluate the compound's safety, efficacy, tolerability, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics in 52 healthy adult male subjects.
¿ PPD Discovery, of Wilmington, N.C., a subsidiary of PPD Inc., also of Wilmington, entered a BiotechAccess agreement with Affymetrix Inc., of Santa Clara, Calif. The agreement calls for broad access to Affymetrix's GeneChip arrays, instrumentation and software to monitor gene expression for use in genetics and genomics research and development activities. Financial details of the access agreement were undisclosed.
¿ RCT BioVentures NE, of Concord, Mass., and Boston University formed Sedecim Therapeutics Inc. to develop interleukin-16 as a therapy for a variety of pathological immune responses. The partners' investments will initially support preclinical testing of IL-16 and IL-16 peptides as treatments for HIV and asthma, and the companies will manage Sedecim's development program.
¿ Targeted Genetics Corp., of Seattle, entered into a licensing and sponsored research agreement with the University of Iowa. The agreement provides Targeted Genetics with exclusive licenses to technologies that increase the efficiency of adeno-associated virus gene transfer vectors, enabling AAV vectors to be used as a delivery system for genes too large for standard AAV vector delivery.
¿ The Singapore Genomics Program, of Singapore, said it named Edison Liu, director of the Division of Clinical Sciences of the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md., executive director of the Genomics Program for the Republic of Singapore. Hong Kong-born and Stanford-educated, Liu brings experience from the NCI, where he directed a staff or more than 1,100.
¿ Verion Inc., of Exton, Pa., founded a joint venture called Verion Newco Ltd. with Elan Pharma International Ltd., a subsidiary of Elan Corp. plc, of Dublin, Ireland. The joint venture will use Verion's Pressure Pulse Technology and Elan's NanoCrystal technology to develop new controlled-release drug compounds. Details of the joint venture's funding were undisclosed.