¿ Agilent Technologies Inc., of Palo Alto, Calif., opened its 15,000-square-foot DNA microarray production facility in Santa Clara, Calif. Agilent said the new facility will significantly increase its array manufacturing capacity.
¿ Aurora Biosciences Corp., of San Diego, entered a second multiyear ion channel drug discovery technology agreement with GlaxoSmithKline plc, of Brentford, UK. Aurora will provide GlaxoSmithKline access to its ion channel technology platform for drug discovery and target validation. Financial details were undisclosed.
¿ Axys Pharmaceuticals Inc., of South San Francisco, said it will advance its ulcerative colitis program based on encouraging Phase II results. The company late last year completed the open-label Phase II study of the tryptase inhibitor APC 2059 for treatment of moderate to severe flares of ulcerative colitis. Data indicated the compound is safe, well tolerated and efficacious. Axys also said it amended its agreement with Bayer AG, of Leverkusen, Germany, to develop APC 2059 as an inhaled therapy for asthma and an injectable treatment for ulcerative colitis. The company plans to initiate clinical development of APC 2059 as an inhaled nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory treatment for mild to moderate asthma this year.
¿ Celera Genomics Inc., of Rockville, Md., and Genset SA, of Paris, entered a multiyear subscription agreement granting Genset access to Celera's databases through the web-based Celera Discovery System. Financial terms were undisclosed.
¿ Endovasc Ltd. Inc., of Montgomery, Texas, said its collaboration with Hermes Bioscience Inc., of South San Francisco, produced a timed-release nicotine liposome with angiogenic properties. The three-to-four-day-release liposome is under development for treatment of blood- and oxygen-starved ischemic tissues.
¿ EntreMed Inc., of Rockville, Md. said the journal Vaccine published the first paper on its angiogenesis-targeting cancer vaccine. The paper is titled "Administration of a Liposomal FGF-2 Peptide Vaccine Leads to the Abrogation of FGF-2 Mediated Angiogenesis and Tumor Development."
¿ Genometrix Inc., of The Woodlands, Texas, entered a collaboration with VistaGen Inc., of Mountain View, Calif., to combine in vitro stem cell biology with high-throughput microarrays to discover surrogate markers for predictive toxicology screening for pharmaceutical development. The collaboration will focus on identifying drug-responsive genes that correlate with the growth and development of complex tissues and cell populations whose changes in expression can be used to predict the potential toxicity of new drug leads.
¿ Genzyme General, of Cambridge, Mass., said revenues for the fourth quarter of 2000 were $203 million, a 17 percent growth from fourth-quarter 1999 revenues of $173 million and a single-quarter record for Genzyme. Annual revenue for 2000 rose 16 percent compared to 1999, totaling $760 million.
¿ Geron Corp., of Menlo Park, Calif., entered a licensing agreement with Clone Australia Pty. Ltd. for access to Geron's nuclear transfer technology to produce superior cattle and sheep for agricultural applications in Australia, New Zealand and China. Clone Australia expects to produce and export cattle and sheep embryos to be used in the production of live offspring. Geron will receive equity in Clone Australia in consideration for the license in addition to a share of Clone Australia's revenues.
¿ Harvard Bioscience Inc., of Holliston, Mass., said underwriters exercised their overallotment option associated with its initial public offering, selling an additional 937,500 shares to underwriters at $8 per share. The overallotment option brings the total proceeds to the company to about $51.8 million from the sale of about 7.188 million shares.
¿ Helicon Therapeutics Inc., of Uniondale, N.Y., completed a second round of financing for proceeds of $6 million to the company, a developer of therapies for memory-related diseases, including Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. The financing was led by Burton Advisors Ltd., of London. Helicon was formed in 1997 as a joint venture between OSI Pharmaceuticals Inc., also of Uniondale; Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, of Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.; and F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd., of Basel, Switzerland.
¿ ImClone Systems Inc., of New York, said it exercised its right to redeem all of the outstanding series A preferred stock held by Merck KGaA, of Darmstadt, Germany, for $24 million. Merck purchased $40 million in ImClone stock as part of a development deal for the cancer vaccine monoclonal antibody BEC2 in December 1997. (See BioWorld Today, Dec. 5, 1997.)
¿ Interneuron Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Lexington, Mass., exercised its option to license IP 501, an orally administered anti-fibrotic purified phospholipid compound in Phase III testing for treatment of liver diseases, including alcohol- and hepatitis C-induced cirrhosis. Interneuron said it will initiate a government-funded Phase III trial to evaluate the compound in hepatitis C.
¿ Meridian Bioscience Inc., of Cincinnati, said its stock symbol on Nasdaq changed to "VIVO" effective Tuesday.
¿ Metabolex Inc., of Hayward, Calif., filed an investigational new drug application with the FDA to initiate Phase I trials of MBX-102, an isomer of an undisclosed parent compound that demonstrated a favorable safety profile and a positive effect on lowering blood glucose levels in limited human testing in diabetic patients in the 1970s. In recent testing, the small molecule appeared to lower LDL cholesterol, raise HDL cholesterol and lower triglycerides in animal models.
¿ Modex Therapeutics Ltd., of Lausanne, Switzerland, completed a secondary offering of about 6.5 percent of its outstanding shares, offered by a group of pre-initial public offering shareholders to institutional investors. Modex focuses on tissue repair, replacement and regeneration. StemCells Inc., of Sunnyvale, Calif., said it sold a portion of its investment in Modex totaling 22,631 shares for $2.5 million. Further financial details of the Modex offering were undisclosed.
¿ NeoRx Corp., of Seattle, began a Phase I trial of its Pretarget technology for treatment of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Preclinical data on the fusion protein that targets B-cell tumors were published in the Dec. 1, 2000, edition of the journal Cancer Research.
¿ Novazyme Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Oklahoma City, applied for orphan drug designation for NZ-1002, its enzyme replacement therapy for treatment of mucopolysaccharidosis I. The compound is the second from Novazyme's core phoshorylation and carbohydrate manipulation technology platforms to address lysosomal storage disease.
¿ Orchid BioSciences Inc., of Princeton, N.J., and Exelixis Inc., of South San Francisco, entered a collaboration for access to Orchid's SNPcode, the latest addition to Orchid's SNPware consumable kits. Exelixis will evaluate the assays in a variety of its studies. Financial terms were undisclosed. Orchid also said it granted PerkinElmer Inc., of Boston, a nonexclusive license for its SNP-IT single base primer extension technology for SNP-scoring applications on DNA sequences. Financial details were undisclosed.
¿ Ortec International Inc., of New York, appointed Costa Papastephanou president. He is a 30-year veteran of Bristol Myers-Squibb Co., of New York.
¿ Pharming Group N.V., of Leiden, the Netherlands, implemented a new organizational structure. The company will now concentrate technology, product development and manufacturing in separate areas.
¿ Protein Design Labs Inc., of Fremont, Calif., began a Phase I/II trial to evaluate its SMART Anti-Gamma Interferon Antibody in patients with moderate to severe Crohn's disease. The double-blind, multicenter trial will enroll 56 patients with Crohn's disease.
¿ Qiagen Genomics Inc., of Seattle, a subsidiary of Qiagen N.V., entered a reseller and co-promotion agreement with Agilent Technologies Inc., of Palo Alto, Calif. The deal calls for the companies to combine technologies to develop single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping systems to be marketed by Qiagen in addition to joint development of Masscode tag chemistry and mass spectrometry instrumentation solutions for SNP discovery, proteomics and other applications. Qiagen also entered a technology access and purchase agreement for its Masscode system with Daiichi Pure Chemicals Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of Daiichi Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., of Tokyo. Qiagen agreed to sell a Masscode system and a nonexclusive license to use related technology for DPC to use in providing SNP genotyping services to clients in Japan. In addition, Qiagen entered a SNP genotyping research agreement with The University of Washington's School of Pharmacy, licensing the school its Masscode technology.
¿ Scios Inc., of Sunnyvale, Calif., filed an amendment to the new drug application it filed in 1999 for its lead candidate, Natrecor (nesiritide), for treatment of congestive heart failure. Scios announced previously its intention to include in the filing the positive data from its Vasodilation in the Management of Acute Congestive (VMAC) heart failure study, which showed that Natrecor, a recombinant form of B-type natriuretic peptide, improved both the hemodynamic measures associated with acute decompensated congestive heart failure and alleviated dyspnea, or difficulty breathing. (See BioWorld Today, Nov. 16, 2000.)
¿ Skyepharma plc, of London, began Phase III trials of DepoMorphine and entered a development agreement for that candidate with the Paul Capital Royalty Acquisition Fund worth $30 million over the next two years. Paul Capital will fund clinical development and regulatory submission in return for the right to purchase a portion of DepoMorphine, Xatral OD, Solaraze and DepoCyt future royalty and revenue streams.
¿ Versicor Inc., of Fremont, Calif., achieved the third milestone in its ongoing collaboration with Novartis Pharma AG, of Basel, Switzerland. Versicor delivered a proprietary assay package to identify novel antibacterial agents to Novartis, triggering an undisclosed payment.