¿ Abgenix Inc., of Fremont, Calif., decided to proceed with a Phase IIb trial of ABX-IL8 in patients with moderate to severe psoriasis based on meeting predetermined safety and efficacy criteria in an interim analysis. The company intends to present the data in detail at the American Academy of Dermatology meeting in March.

¿ Alliance Pharmaceutical Corp., of San Diego, completed its acquisition of Molecular Biosystems Inc. for 770,000 shares of Alliance. At Wednesday's opening share price of $8, the deal was valued at $6.16 million. MBI develops and markets Optison, an ultrasound contrast agent.

¿ AlphaOne Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Alameda, Calif., changed its name to Arriva Pharmaceuticals Inc. The company, founded in 1997, develops and manufactures protease inhibitors.

¿ AlphaRx Inc., of Richmond Hill, Ontario, initiated a trial of Indoflex (indomethacin), a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, in pain management. The trial is designed to assess the reformulated drug's pharmacokinetics, rate of onset, gastrointestinal irritation properties and patient tolerance compared to conventional formulations.

¿ AltaRex Corp., of Waltham, Mass., said final results of a Phase II trial of OvaRex, a monoclonal antibody for treatment of ovarian cancer, indicated the compound increases survival. Six of 13 advanced-disease patients treated with OvaRex survived 50 weeks or longer. The company also said preliminary results from a second Phase II study indicated less-advanced patients who received treatment with OvaRex in combination with chemotherapy experienced an arrest in disease progression. Four of an eventual 12 patients remained progression free for between 18 and 50 weeks. Neither trial showed any OvaRex-associated toxicity.

¿ Alteon Inc., of Ramsey, N.J., said results from its Phase IIa trial of ALT-711, its Advanced Glycosylation End-product Crosslink Breaker, indicated treated patients experienced a statistically significant reduction in arterial pulse pressure and a clinically relevant increase in larger artery compliance, an indicator of greater vascular flexibility and volume capacity. Advanced glycosylation end-product crosslink formation is a natural aging process that can lead to stiffening and loss of function in tissues and organs. The Phase IIa trial was designed to assess the compound's safety, efficacy and pharmacology.

¿ Atrix Laboratories Inc., of Fort Collins, Colo., said it plans to begin the first of its planned Phase III studies of Atrisone, dapsone topical gel in SMP technology, for moderate to severe acne. Enrollment is expected to begin in the first quarter of this year.

¿ Collgard Biopharmaceuticals Ltd., of Newton, Mass., said its proprietary lead compound, Halofuginone, demonstrated a "profound inhibitory effect" as an anti-angiogenic in six experimental systems. The orally administered or injectable compound produced a pronounced inhibition of neovascularization in in vivo mouse model studies published in the Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (Vol. 14, pp. 2477-2485).

¿ Corixa Corp., of Seattle, amended an agreement with N.V. Organon, the human health-care business of Akzo Nobel, of Oss, the Netherlands, to include continued development of the recombinant form of Corixa's AnergiX.RA complex for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. The companies will share the project's costs through Phase II, and share profits from product sales.

¿ Cytomedix Inc., of Deerfield, Ill., completed its acquisition of the worldwide manufacturing, sales and distribution rights to Procuren solution, a wound-healing agent, from Curative Health Services Inc., of Hauppauge, N.Y., for $3.8 million. Cytomedix's product portfolio already includes AuTolo Gel, a proprietary system for treatment of nonhealing wounds.

¿ Hemispherx Biopharma Inc., of Philadelphia, said it will participate in a newly reviewed FDA Phase II protocol jointly developed by Hemispherx and a number of national AIDS advocacy groups to deploy Hemispherx's Ampligen before the first sign of virologic treatment failure. The multicenter, placebo-controlled Phase II protocol will include HIV patients who have just commenced their first antiviral multidrug regimen.

¿ Heska Corp., of Fort Collins, Colo., entered a distribution agreement with Novartis Animal Health, a subsidiary of Novartis AG, of Basel, Switzerland, for exclusive distribution rights for Heska's E-Screen Test in Europe. Financial terms were undisclosed.

¿ ICN Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Irving, Texas, completed its acquisition of MAII Holdings Inc., formerly Medical Alliance Inc., for $14.4 million in cash. MAII Holdings has sought opportunities to strengthen its position since August.

¿ ILEX Products Inc., of San Antonio, a subsidiary of Ilex Oncology Inc., submitted an investigational new drug application to the FDA to begin testing ILX-651, an orally active anticancer compound. ILX-651 is a synthetic peptide analogue of dolastatin, and its mechanism of action is similar to taxanes. ILEX licensed the compound from BASF Pharma, of Ludwigshafen, Germany.

¿ Infigen Inc., of Deforest, Wis., received a $1 million milestone payment last month from Novartis Pharma AG, of Basel, Switzerland, for successfully developing a reproducible proprietary nuclear transfer-based cloning system and producing several litters of pigs. The births are reported in the October 2000 (Vol. 18) edition of Nature Biotechnology.

¿ Orchid BioSciences Inc., of Princeton, N.J., granted an exclusive license to PerkinElmer Life Sciences, a division of PerkinElmer Inc., of Boston, for Orchid's SNP-IT technology for single nucleotide polymorphism scoring applications using fluorescence polarization and energy transfer readout methods. PerkinElmer agreed to produce and sell reagent kits, software and instruments using SNP-IT single base primer extension technology to enable customers to perform fluorescence-based SNP analyses. Financial details were undisclosed. However, PerkinElmer also received an option to expand the field of use to include diagnostic assays based on fluorescence methodologies and time resolved energy transfer, fields where PerkinElmer holds patents.

¿ Versicor Inc., of Fremont, Calif., expanded its collaboration with Pharmacia Corp., of Peapack, N.J., for discovery and development of oxazolidinones, antibacterial agents shown effective against a number of multidrug resistant Gram-positive pathogens. The original $30 million collaboration dates to April 1999. Pharmacia will expand its financial support of Versicor's research efforts in the field by 30 percent. (See BioWorld Today, April 6, 1999.)

¿ Xenogen Corp., of Alameda, Calif., entered an evaluation license agreement with AstraZeneca plc, of London, to allow the UK pharmaceutical company access to Xenogen's technology in oncology. The noninvasive visualization technology for the biological assessment of new chemical entities enables detection of fluorescent or bioluminescent cells in living animals. Financial details were not disclosed.