¿ Amarillo Biosciences Inc., of Amarillo, Texas, entered a supply agreement with Natrol Inc., of Chatsworth, Calif., for North American marketing of Salive, an anhydrous crystalline maltose that relieved complaints of Xerostomia, or dry mouth. Amarillo is negotiating a worldwide distribution arrangement with other companies.
¿ BioReliance Corp., of Rockville, Md., said it was awarded a contract by the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for the development and production of viral vectors. The five-year contract's maximum value is $6 million. The NIAID will use the materials provided by BioReliance for clinical trials designed to test gene therapies for infectious diseases.
¿ Cellegy Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Francisco, initiated an expanded Phase I/II trial of Tostrelle, its transdermal testosterone gel product for female sexual dysfunction. The company also is sponsoring a collaborative research program in female sexual dysfunction with the University of California at Los Angeles Medical Center. The Phase I/II study is designed to determine optimal dosing in women who have undergone oophorectomy and hysterectomy.
¿ Cepheid Inc., of Sunnyvale, Calif., entered a multiyear agreement with Eurogentec SA, of Sart Tilman, Belgium, to market Cepheid's Smart Cycler system in several European countries. Commercial launch of the Cycler is expected in the first quarter of 2001.
¿ Cortec Inc., of Bedminster, N.J., said the University of Colorado Health Science Center demonstrated a potentially effective treatment against the AIDS virus using alpha-1-antitrypsin (AAT), a naturally occurring component of human blood. UC also determined in laboratory studies that a Cortec compound might be a synthetic mimic of AAT.
¿ Direct Therapeutics Inc., of Redwood City, Calif., completed a private placement round for a net of $6 million led by VantagePoint Venture Partners, of San Bruno, Calif., and Loeb Partners Corp., of New York. The financing comes on the heels of the conversion of the outstanding convertible subordinated promissory notes issued in April totaling $2 million. The company is developing drug delivery technology for cancer drugs.
¿ DNAPrint genomics Inc., of Sarasota, Fla., and the University of Miami agreed to collaborate to discover and develop personalized medical products intended to genetically match cancer patients with optimal chemotherapy regimens. The collaboration aims to qualify and quantify genetic and environmental variants underlying variation of ovarian cancer patient response to chemotherapy.
¿ Gilead Sciences Inc., of Foster City, Calif., said it agreed to sell $250 million of subordinated notes, which are convertible into Gilead shares at a price of $98.25 per share, a 23 percent premium to Wednesday's closing price. The notes have an interest rate of 5 percent, a seven-year term and are redeemable by the company after Dec. 20, 2003. Gilead said it intended to issue $250 million worth of convertible bonds earlier this week. (See BioWorld Today, Dec. 12, 2000.)
¿ Ichor Corp., of Dublin, Ireland, entered a share exchange agreement to acquire more than 94 percent of the outstanding shares of Hippocampe SA, of Lyon, France, for an aggregate of about 33.6 million shares and securities convertible to Ichor shares. After the transaction Hippocampe shareholders will hold about 80 percent of Ichor.
¿ InSite Vision Inc., of Alameda, Calif., and Pharmacia Corp., of Peapack, N.J., mutually agreed to the return of all rights for ISV-900 technology, a glaucoma diagnostic and prognostic application technology licensed by InSite to Pharmacia in November 1999. The new agreement returns all marketing and further development rights to InSite.
¿ Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Carlsbad, Calif., demonstrated in a preclinical study that topically applied antisense drugs in a cream formulation inhibit the production of Intracellular Adhesion Molecule (ICAM-1), a gene associated with psoriasis. Isis will use the findings as a basis for a Phase II trial of its ICAM-1 inhibitor ISIS 2302 in treatment of psoriasis.
¿ OncoImmunin Inc., of Gaithersburg, Md., and Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories, a division of American Home Products Corp., of Madison, N.J., entered a research collaboration and license option agreement centered on OncoImmunin's image-based caspase high-throughput screening system. Wyeth-Ayerst will pay milestone payments and royalties on product sales if it picks up the option to license OncoImmunin's drug delivery technology and/or new target candidates discovered through the collaboration. Financial terms were undisclosed.
¿ Pharmacopeia Inc., of Princeton, N.J., reached a second milestone in its 1994 collaboration with Schering-Plough Corp., of Madison, N.J., with Schering-Plough's initiation of a toxicology study in preclinical evaluation of a Schering-Plough compound developed from a Pharmacopeia lead. The first milestone came in November 1998 when Schering-Plough identified and initiated work around the unidentified lead compound.
¿ PPL Therapeutics Inc., of Edinburgh, Scotland, entered a joint venture with Celentis Ltd., of New Zealand, focused on the production of pharmaceutical and nutraceutical proteins in the milk of transgenic cattle. The initial aim of the venture will be the production of a potential multiple sclerosis protein.
¿ Quest Diagnostics Inc., of Teterboro, N.J., made an equity investment in Structural Bioinformatics Inc., of San Diego. Terms were undisclosed. Quest and SBI formed a strategic alliance in July 1999 to develop and market database modules of structurally variant proteins.
¿ Repligen Corp., of Needham, Mass., licensed two patent applications from the University of California at San Diego covering novel methods for mitochondrial disease treatments and for the treatment of autism patients with abnormal purine metabolism. Repligen gets exclusive commercial rights to both inventions and will pay the school an up-front fee, clinical development milestones and royalties on product sales, in addition to supporting two research programs at UC.
¿ Schering-Plough Corp., of Madison, N.J., submitted a supplemental new drug application to the FDA for Rebetol for use in combination with Intron A injection (interferon alfa-2b, recombinant) for treatment of chronic hepatitis C in patients with compensated liver disease previously treated with alpha interferon and relapsed. Rebetol, an oral formulation of ribavirin licensed from ICN Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Costa Mesa, Calif., is approved in the U.S. as a component of Rebetron combination therapy, a single-capsule formulation containing Rebetol and Intron A.
¿ Synsorb Biotech Inc., of Calgary, Ontario, said it will not pursue development of Synsorb Pk. Synsorb revealed in July that the compound for prevention of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) in children with Escherichia coli infections didn't meet its primary endpoint in a 526-child Phase III trial begun in 1996. Though the trial produced statistically significant results in children treated within two days of the onset of symptoms, the company said it will concentrate its resources on development of its lead product, Synsorb Cd, in Phase III for treatment of recurrent C. difficile-associated diarrhea. (See BioWorld Today, July 14, 2000.)
¿ Visible Genetics Inc., of Toronto, received correspondence from the FDA related to its Trugene HIV-1 Geneotyping kit and OpenGene DNA Sequencing system. VGI said it would answer questions related to the HIV-1 kit and DNA sequencing system promptly, and said no additional trials will be necessary prior to receiving marketing approval for the product. VGI's stock (NASDAQ:VGIN) gained $12.5 percent Thursday to close at $30.812.
¿ Vysis Inc., of Downers Grove, Ill., renewed its research agreement with the Mayo Clinic, of Rochester, Minn., aimed at developing diagnostic tests for bladder, lung and prostate cancers using Vysis' cellular genomic fluorescence in situ hybridization DNA-probe tests and GenoSensor genomic microarrays.