¿ Amersham Pharmacia Biotech Inc., of Fremont, Calif., completed the sale of more than 60 MegaBACE DNA Analysis Systems to institutes in China and Brazil. The National Council of Technologic and Scientific Development of the Science and Technology Ministry in Brazil purchased 25 systems for use in the Brazilian Genome Project. In China, the Hangzhou Genomics Institute purchased more than 35 systems for use in its human genome sequencing project and the sequencing of a hybrid rice developed at the National Center of Hybrid Rice Development in Hunan Province.
¿ BioPulse International Inc., of San Ysidro, Calif., said study results from research on its Thymidine Kinase 1 Immunoassay (TK1) will appear in the Feb. 8, 2000, issue of The Journal of Cancer Detection and Prevention. The results demonstrated, BioPulse said, that the TK1 immunoassay antibody had a linear, reproducible and specific response and accurately measured TK1 levels found in both breast cancer cells and serum.
¿ British Biotech plc, of Oxford, UK, completed a clinical trial of marimastat, its oral matrix metalloproteinase inhibitor, in patients with small-cell lung cancer. British Biotech expects data from the trial to be analyzed and the results to be announced by the end of February.
¿ Chiron Corp., of Emeryville, Calif., and Oganon Teknika BV, of Boxtel, the Netherlands, entered a worldwide, semiexclusive license agreement for Chiron's patents of HIV in assays claiming the detection of nucleic acid sequences for use in clinical diagnostics. Financial terms were undisclosed.
¿ Ciphergen Biosystems Inc., of Fremont, Calif., and Mindsense Biosystems Ltd., of Rehovot, Israel, expanded their joint research program for discovery of potential biomarkers in the field of depression. The expansion is funded through a $900,000 grant by the BIRD Foundation, a U.S.-Israeli industrial research and development group.
¿ DNA Sciences Inc., of Piscataway, N.J., and Amersham Pharmacia Biotech Inc., of Fremont, Calif., entered a collaboration to develop microchannel chip technology for automated high-throughput analysis of nucleic acids. Amersham will pay DNA Sciences licensing fees and royalties from future product sales.
¿ Genentech Inc., of South San Francisco, said net income rose by 30 percent, product sales by 23 percent and earnings per share by 28 percent in 2000 compared to 1999. Net income rose to $319.8 million, or 60 cents per share. Net income for the fourth quarter rose to $83.4 million, or 16 cents per share, from $48.1 million in the same period in 1999. The company said it realized total revenues of $1.74 billion in 2000, a 22 percent increase over 1999's $1.42 billion, citing a 23 percent increase in product sales, from $1.04 billion in 1999 to $1.28 billion in 2000. Just after the company released its earnings report late Thursday, Genentech Chief Financial Officer Louis Lavigne said earnings per share growth would slow to 20 percent to 25 percent in 2001. On Friday, Genentech's stock price (NYSE:DNA) dropped about 11 percent, or $6.813, to close at $53.875.
¿ Genta Inc., of Berkeley Heights, N.J., initiated two clinical trials of its flagship antisense drug, Genasense, in acute myeloid leukemia and chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Both trials involve relapsed patients.
¿ Gilead Sciences Inc., of Foster City, Calif., said its board approved a two-for-one stock split. Stockholders will vote on the plan Feb. 2.
¿ Human Genome Sciences Inc., of Rockville, Md., said its Principia Pharmaceutical Corp. division will relocate to HGS' headquarters in Rockville from its current home in Norristown, Pa., this summer. HGS acquired Principia in September for $120 million in stock. (See BioWorld Today, September 12, 2000.)
¿ IDEC Pharmaceuticals Corp., of San Diego, and Genentech Inc., of South San Francisco, will sponsor a scientific research fellowship program in honor of Ronald Levy, through a gift to the American Cancer Society Foundation. The program will award research fellowships in the amount of $50,000 to two post-doctoral students each year for the next five years. The companies also announced their collaboration for Rituxan marketing produced fourth- quarter sales of $134 million. Sales for the year were $424.3 million, compared to $262.7 million for 1999.
¿ IsoTis N.V., of Bilthoven, the Netherlands, began clinical trials for orthopedic and maxillofacial applications for its living bone implants grown in culture. The company said the trials represent the first patients treated with autologous tissue-engineered bone.
¿ Maxim Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Diego, received a nonapprovable letter from the FDA for its new drug application for Ceplene (histamine dihydrochloride, formerly Maxamine) as an adjuvant to interleukin-2 for the treatment of patients with advanced metastatic melanoma with liver metastases. The FDA said the Phase III trial that formed the basis for the NDA would not be adequate as a single study to support approval. Maxim Chairman and CEO Larry Stambaugh said the letter was "expected," and said the company will meet with the FDA to form a clinical strategy to support the drug's approval in the indication. "Despite this regulatory action," Stambaugh said, "the trial did show a significant survival benefit in a patient population with a fatal disease that has a critical need for more effective therapies." The Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee voted unanimously against the NDA in December. (See BioWorld Today, Dec. 14, 2000.)
¿ Prana Biotechnology Ltd., of South Melbourne, Australia, placed 6.66 million newly issued shares at A$.75 per share for proceeds of A$5 million (US$2.8 million). Prana will pay a 5 percent fee on shares distributed by CIBC World Markets, of New York, which will place shares with leading Australian institutional investors, and Intersuisse Corp. Pty Ltd., which will place shares with interested U.S. institutions. Funds will be used to accelerate development of Prana's technology platform. Prana focuses on neurodegenerative diseases, and its lead compound, PBT1 for treatment of Alzheimer's disease, is currently in Phase II testing in Australia.
¿ Virco Group N.V., and Tibotec Group N.V., both of Mechelen, Belgium, announced their intent to merge. The merged company will bring together Tibotec's drug discovery expertise and Virco's pharmacogenomics and molecular diagnostics competencies in areas of focus such as HIV/AIDS, infectious diseases and oncology. Financial terms of the merger were undisclosed.