¿ Apovia AG, of Martinsried, Germany, said its San Diego-based subsidiary, Apovia Inc., and the Malaria Vaccine Initiative of the Program for Appropriate Technology in Health, of Rockville, Md., agreed to jointly develop a novel malaria vaccine in a multimillion-dollar, multiyear agreement. The partners expect clinical trials to start this year. "The vaccine is based on virus-like particles expressing plasmodium-specific epitopes in its spikes," said Peter Steiner, CEO of Apovia AG.
¿ Artemis Pharmaceuticals GmbH, of Cologne, Germany, obtained a nonexclusive field-of-use license for functional genomics applications of Cre-lox technology from DuPont Pharmaceuticals Co., of Wilmington, Del. Using this technology researchers can switch off particular genes in adult animals, then validate the genes' function. In its functional genomics program Artemis already uses similar techniques. The license includes the rights to use the technology for internal research purposes at Artemis as well as to develop, transfer and sell Cre-lox materials to qualified recipients. Financial details were not disclosed.
¿ BioTissue Technologies AG, of Freiburg, Germany, which had its initial public offering in December, added members to its management team. Wilhelm Brandner, former member of the board of the Freiburg-based pharmaceutical company Gvdecke AG (now part of Pfizer) will be responsible for marketing and sales, in particular for extension of worldwide marketing, distribution activities and development of sales collaborations. Present board member Rainer Seubert will serve as chief financial officer and be in charge of administration. BioTissue produces autologous tissue replacements for skin, cartilage and bone. In September and November the company successfully reconstructed a human ear and a complete finger joint.
¿ Cambridge Antibody Technology Group plc, of Melbourn, UK, and Elan Corp. plc, of Dublin, Ireland, will collaborate on the development of antibody-based drugs for the treatment of central nervous system disorders. The financial terms of the four-year deal were not disclosed. The partners will fund all R&D jointly, and share profits equally. CAT will have primary responsibility for the discovery and optimization of human antibodies against multiple targets identified by Elan. The two already have identified more than 40 targets. Elan will evaluate antibody candidates and manage clinical and regulatory development.
¿ co.don AG, of Teltow, Germany, has development activities in the U.S. for its co.don chondrotransplant, an autologous chondrocyte transplant for regeneration of deficient joint cartilage. The company expects approval there by 2002. Clinical studies in Europe have shown success rates of 90 percent. Timothy Ganey, president of co.don's Tampa, Fla.-based subsidiary, co.don Inc., said nearly 600 patients have been treated in Germany, where the company has had manufacturing approval since 1997. co.don also holds approvals for export to Austria and Switzerland. In 2000, sales for the product were DM1.5 million (US$720,000). "The FDA has shown great interest in accelerating the process of approval," co.don spokeswoman Rima Baag said.
¿ Lion Bioscience AG, of Heidelberg, Germany, has released the 2.0 version of arraySCOUT, a system for gene expression data analysis. Version 2.0 is the third commercial release of this software since its introduction in fall 1999.
¿ NicOx SA, of Sophia Antipolis, France, received a milestone payment of US$3 million from its development partner, AstraZeneca plc, of London, triggered by the start of Phase II clinical trials of NicOx's lead compound, HCT 3012, a nitric oxide-releasing derivative of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug naproxen. It is being tested at centers in Europe and the U.S. in the indications of pain and inflammation. AstraZeneca has a worldwide exclusive license for the development and commercialization of this compound and other NicOx NO-NSAIDs for the treatment of pain and inflammatory arthritic disorders.