¿ AltaRex Corp., of Waltham, Mass., and Dompe Farmaceutici S.p.A., of Milan, Italy, said they closed Dompe's private placement purchase of about 3.5 million shares of AltaRex stock at C$2.20 (US$1.45) per share for net proceeds of C$7.75 million. Dompe now owns about 16 percent of AltaRex's common stock. Proceeds will be used to advance development of AltaRex's lead products, OvaRex and BrevaRex MAbs.
¿ Aurora Biosciences Corp., of San Diego, said the third and final component of its ultra-high-throughput screening system (UHTSS) has been accepted and validated by Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Research Institute in Wallingford, Conn. The UHTSS Platform combines compound management, plate replication, assay preparation, hit identification, selection and re-tests of the hits, fluorescence detection and data analysis into one automated system and is the first complete UHTSS Platform to be accepted by one of Aurora's partners.
¿ BioChem Pharma Inc., of Laval, Quebec, said the U.S. Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences has invalidated Emory University's patent for 3TC/Epivir (lamivudine). The board ruled that Emory was not entitled to its patent, granted five years after BioChem Pharma received its pioneering patent covering 3TC/Epivir and one year after the company's licensee, Glaxo Wellcome plc, of London, began selling the drug, the company said.
¿ Biotech Holdings Ltd., of Vancouver, British Columbia, said it purchased Immunis Corp.'s 25 percent interest in DIAB II, a Type II diabetes medication developed by Biotech Holdings. Biotech Holdings will issue about 8.6 million common shares of its stock in exchange for the interest in DIAB II. DIAB II is an insulin-receptor sensitizer; it works by improving the patient's ability to utilize insulin.
¿ Biotechnology Industry Organization, of Washington, will host the third annual CEO & Investor Conference, "Investing in Biotechnology: The Value, The Risks, The Rewards," in New York, Feb. 20 and 21, at the Waldorf Astoria. About 1,500 attendees are expected for the event.
¿ Charles River Laboratories International Inc., of Wilmington, Mass., said through its subsidiary, Charles River Laboratories Inc., it signed a definitive agreement to acquire Pathology Associates International Corp., of Frederick, Md., from Science Applications International Corp. for $37 million. Pathology Associates is the wholly owned subsidiary of Science Applications and focuses on contract pathology services in animal research models.
¿ Corixa Corp., of Seattle, said shareholders from Corixa and Coulter Pharmaceutical Inc., of South San Francisco, voted to approve a merger between the companies. The merger was expected to close Friday.
¿ Gene Logic Inc., of Gaithersburg, Md., expanded its collaboration with Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals Co., of Cincinnati, focused on heart failure and osteoporosis. Gene Logic will gain access to a large number of normal and diseased human heart tissue samples for inclusion in the GeneExpress Suite and P&G will become a subscriber to the suite. Gene Logic will construct a separate custom database that integrates its proprietary data together with the non-proprietary data from GeneExpress. Financial terms were not disclosed.
¿ ICOS Corp., of Bothell, Wash., said the underwriters of its recently completed public offering exercised in full an option to purchase 675,000 additional shares at $37 each to cover overallotments, bringing gross proceeds to about $192 million. SG Cowen Securities Corp., of New York, led the offering, with Banc of America Securities LLC, of San Francisco; Prudential Vector Healthcare Group, of New York; Robertson Stephens Inc., of San Francisco; and Ragen MacKenzie Inc., of Seattle acting as co-managers. (See BioWorld Today, Dec. 15, 2000.)
¿ ImClone Systems Inc., of New York, said it withdrew its shelf registration statement for the sale of up to 6 million shares of its common stock. It registered for the offering Nov. 9 and the offering was estimated at about $373 million. (See BioWorld Today, Nov. 10, 2000.)
¿ Immunomedics Inc., of Morris Plains, N.J., said it is refocusing internal and certain external activities on its pipeline of cancer therapeutic antibodies. It will accelerate the introduction of new antibodies into clinical trials, advance those in trials, expand its antibody production facilities and license out certain diagnostic imaging technologies and products. That follows the recent licensing of its lead cancer drug to Amgen Inc., of Thousand Oaks, Calif.
¿ IntraBiotics Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Mountain View, Calif., will move into a larger facility in Mountain View, completing the move and resuming normal business operations at the location by Jan. 2.
¿ Maxygen Inc., of Redwood City, Calif., delivered a lead development agriculture candidate to Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc., of Des Moines, Iowa. The collaboration between the companies began in December 1998.
¿ Xenogen Corp., of Alameda, Calif., entered an evaluation license agreement with Cell Genesys Inc., of Foster City, Calif., allowing Cell Genesys access to Xenogen's proprietary real-time, in vivo imaging technologies for its work developing cancer gene therapies.
¿ MedImmune Inc., of Gaithersburg, Md., said the FDA approved its plasma production module at its manufacturing facility in Frederick, Md., for the production of CytoGam intermediate paste. CytoGam is an intravenous immune globulin enriched in antibodies against cytomegalovirus and is marketed for the prophylaxis against cytomegalovirus diseases associated with transplantation of the kidney, lung, liver, pancreas and heart.
¿ Neurocrine Biosciences Inc., of San Diego, initiated a Phase I trial with its proprietary corticotropin releasing factor-1 (CRF1) receptor antagonist compound for the treatment of anxiety and depression. The trial will involve 48 healthy patients. Neurocrine's partnered CRF receptor antagonist compound (NBI 37582) has achieved a milestone and has been nominated for full-scale development by partner Janssen Pharmaceutica, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. The compound should move into Phase I trials by the third quarter of 2001.
¿ Vivus Inc., of Mountain View, Calif., received approval from the FDA for over-the-counter marketing of Actis, an adjustable constriction band used to enhance the erection process in men with erectile dysfunction. It received FDA marketing clearance in 1996 as a prescription device and was introduced into the market in 1997. Vivus' stock (NASDAQ:VVUS) climbed 71.9 cents Friday, or 37 percent, closing at $2.656.