¿ Alizyme plc, of Cambridge, UK, said the first Phase Ib clinical trial of its obesity drug, ATL-962, provided evidence of efficacy and showed the lipase inhibitor to be safe and generally well tolerated in repeat doses. In the placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized, parallel study in 27 volunteers, subjects showed increased fecal fat levels in all dose groups with an indication of dose dependence. The company now plans further Phase Ib trials before beginning a Phase II weight-loss study in obese patients later in 2001.

¿ CeNeS Pharmaceuticals plc, of Cambridge, UK, licensed North American rights to its lead product, Moraxen, to Amarin Corp. plc, of London. Terms were not disclosed but they include an up-front payment to CeNeS and royalties on sales. CeNeS will manufacture the drug, a controlled-release formulation of morphine for the treatment of cancer pain, at its plant in Irvine, Scotland. Moraxen was launched in the UK in September, and the partners will now complete a final Phase III study in the U.S. before submitting an NDA.

¿ Crucell N.V., of Leiden, the Netherlands, reported a sharply higher net loss of EUR20.7 million (US$17.4 million) for the third quarter of 2000, compared with EUR700,000 in the corresponding quarter of 1999. That was due to an exceptional noncash write-off of EUR15.7 million in respect to deferred compensation expenses related to the introduction of a new stock option scheme put in place at the time of the company's IPO at the end of October. A second exceptional item was a EUR2.6 million provision for goodwill amortization relating to the merger of IntroGene B.V. and U-BiSys B.V. to form Crucell.