¿ Abgenix Inc., of Fremont, Calif., and SangStat Medical Corp., also of Fremont, said ABX-CBL for treatment of graft-vs.-host disease received orphan status designation from the FDA. The Abgenix-developed murine anti-CD147 monoclonal antibody is currently in a multicenter, randomized, controlled Phase II/III study.
¿ Adolor Corp., of Malvern, Pa., said underwriters exercised the option to purchase an additional 900,000 shares at $15 per share to bring Adolor's initial public offering total to 6.9 million shares and $103.5 million. The company now has about 27.9 million shares outstanding. Merrill Lynch & Co., of New York; Lehman Brothers, of New York; and Pacific Growth Equities Inc., of San Francisco, served as underwriters. (See BioWorld Today, Nov. 15, 2000.)
¿ Avanir Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Diego, received a milestone payment of $5 million from SmithKline Beecham plc, of London, for the initiation of distribution of Abreva at the wholesale level. Under the agreement signed earlier this year, Avanir stands to make up to $25 million in milestone payments associated with product launch and sales performance for the oral herpes product. To date, Avanir has received $15 million in milestone payments.
¿ Biomira Inc., of Edmonton, Alberta, enrolled 819 of the protocol-demanded 900 evaluable patients in its Phase III trial of Theratope vaccine for metastatic breast cancer. Enrollment will remain open through the first quarter of 2001.
¿ Axonyx Inc., of New York, initiated the preclinical studies necessary to file an investigational new drug application for Tolserine tartrate, a fourth-generation acetylcholinesterase inhibitor licensed to Axonyx by the National Institute of Aging/National Institutes of Health. The company's lead acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, Phenserine, is about to begin a Phase II proof-of-concept study in Alzheimer's disease.
¿ Ciphergen Biosystems Inc., of Fremont, Calif., began a multiyear research collaboration with the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, of Baltimore, for the discovery of novel protein biomarkers for cancer. The focus will be the discovery and validation of diagnostic markers that improve tumor detection. As part of the collaboration, Ciphergen will provide financial support and technical assistance through its Biomarker Discovery Centers. Johns Hopkins will contribute resources, including cancer serum samples and its physicians and scientists. Ciphergen will have access to the commercial rights to the discoveries.
¿ Collateral Therapeutics Inc., of San Diego, confirmed that VEGF-138, a new member of the vascular endothelial growth factor family, is active in the stimulation of the growth of endothelial cells. That research was conducted under a sponsored agreement with The Technion Research and Development Foundation.
¿ Dendreon Corp., of Seattle, said results of a study of Provenge, its vaccine treatment for prostate cancer, indicated that the therapeutic is safe and well tolerated. The company said the results of the 31-patient study showed Provenge produced an immune response in all patients.
¿ Enzo Biochem Inc., of Farmingdale, N.Y., received approval from Israel's Ministry of Health to commence a Phase I double-pronged trial of its novel treatment for hepatitis C or associated hepatocellular carcinoma. The trial will be funded in part through a grant from the Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development Foundation.
¿ IDEC Pharmaceuticals Corp., of San Diego, said its board approved a 3-for-1 stock split effective in the form of a stock dividend for all stockholders of record as of Dec. 26. As of Dec. 30, IDEC will have about 48 million shares outstanding, and upon completion of the split IDEC will have about 144 million shares outstanding.
¿ Immunex Corp., of Seattle, said data from a clinical study published in The New England Journal of Medicine show that Enbrel can delay progression of structural joint damage in patients with moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis, even in patients with early stages of the disease. In the study, 72 percent of 207 patients taking Enbrel had no progression of joint erosion measured by X-ray at one year, compared to 60 percent of 217 patients taking methotrexate, the current standard of care.
¿ Incyte Genomics Inc., of Palo Alto, Calif., and Sankyo Co. Ltd., of Tokyo, entered a licensing agreement granting Sankyo rights to Incyte's LifeSeq Gold database via Incyte's web site. Sankyo also received rights to Incyte's ZooSeq animal model database. Financial terms were undisclosed.
¿ Interleukin Genetics Inc., of Waltham, Mass., granted a nonexclusive license to Kenna Technologies Inc. for worldwide commercialization of Interleukin's Biological Disease Modeling System, Biofusion, and its user-interface technologies, Integrated Disease Information System. The agreement includes an up-front license fee and downstream royalties. Further financial details were not disclosed.
¿ Introgen Therapeutics Inc., of Austin, Texas, initiated a Phase I trial of INGN 241, adenoviral-mda7, an apoptosis-inducing compound. The 15-patient, dose-escalating trial will evaluate mda-7's safety and define molecular events associated with the incorporation of the mda-7 gene.
¿ Iomai Corp., of Washington, said a study in collaboration with the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research demonstrated the feasibility of transcutaneous immunization. The Phase I trial indicated that doses of heat-labile enterotoxin derived from Escherichia coli can safely produce an immune response when delivered via patch.
¿ Islet Technology Inc., of St. Paul, Minn., raised $1.75 million in a private placement equity financing. Peterson Brothers Securities Co., of Bloomington, Minn., assisted with a portion of the financing. Since inception in 1994, the company, which focuses on developing technology related to insulin-producing islet cell isolation, has raised more than $8 million.
¿ Packard Bioscience, of Meriden, Conn., has agreed to sell its Canberra Industries subsidiary to Cogema, of Velizy Cedex, France, in a deal valued at about $170 million. Packard said the sale of the nuclear measurement business, also located in Meriden, will allow it to focus on accelerated research and development efforts in the life sciences field. The sale is expected to close within about three months.
¿ Palumed SA, of Toulouse, France, said data published in Issue No. 4 of the journal ChemBioChem demonstrates the activity of its candidates against resistant Plasmidium falciparum, a malaria-associated parasite. Palumed's small-molecule trioxaquines combine active fragments aminoquinolone and trioxane within a single molecule.
¿ Peregrine Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Tustin, Calif., enrolled and treated the first patient in its Phase I study of Cotara for treatment of colorectal cancer. Peregrine plans to initiate at least one further study by the end of the year for the treatment of liver cancer.
¿ PharmaSeq Inc., of Monmouth Junction, N.J., said it manufactured the first fully functional light-powered nanotransponder for use in high-throughput molecular biology assays to detect genetic variations, infectious agents and other phenomena. The chip is about six nanoliters, less than 1/1,000th the volume of a grain of rice.
¿ Procyon BioPharma Inc., of Montreal, finalized its agreement with the University of Toronto Innovations Foundation to purchase technology and patents related to Colopath, Procyon's rapid, noninvasive screening test for colorectal cancer. The entities entered a memorandum of understanding related to the purchase in early November. Terms of the purchase agreement were undisclosed.
¿ Protein Sciences Corp., of Meriden, Conn., and HTS Biosystems Inc., of Eagan, Minn., entered a discovery collaboration aimed at developing novel protein molecules for the drug and diagnostics markets. The companies will generate a catalogue of proteins and their affinity counterparts for marketing to product developers. PSC has granted HTS exclusive rights to the PSC protein library, and PSC retained the right to sell all bulk proteins and peptides and affinity molecules. Further financial details were undisclosed.
¿ Protherics plc, of Cheshire, UK, said results of a Phase I trial of its angiotensin vaccine indicate the product lowers blood pressure in normal volunteers. The company said the results support initiation of Phase II trials, and it plans to start a 24-patient Phase IIa trial this month.
¿ Rosetta Inpharmatics Inc., of Kirkland, Wash., entered an agreement with Abbott Laboratories, of Abbott Park, Ill., focused on investigating the molecular basis of toxicity of compounds in animal and human liver model systems. Each company will fund its efforts in the collaboration, which will use Rosetta's FlexJet DNA microarray platform, and its Resolver Expression Data Analysis product in combination with Abbott toxicological science expertise to develop a proprietary database for toxicology analysis.
¿ Vysis Inc., of Downers Grove, Ill., submitted clinical data to the FDA on its UroVysion assay for monitoring recurrence of bladder cancer. The company said the submission is the first of an assay for monitoring recurrence of bladder cancer, and it is the sixth genetic test Vysis has submitted to the FDA.