Aleton Inc., of Ramsey, N.J., said it completed the on-drug segment of its Phase IIa trial of ALT-711, an advanced glycosylation end-product crosslink breaker compound. Data from the 93-patient, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multisite study will now undergo detailed analysis.
Alkermes Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., completed and analyzed preliminary results from the first clinical trial of its inhaled insulin product based on its pulmonary drug delivery technology. The trial in healthy volunteers was designed to evaluate the product's safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics in a range of doses. The company initiated a broader clinical program for the inhaled insulin product based on the positive results, and commenced its second clinical study.
Amarin Corp. plc, of London, licensed exclusive United States rights to LAX-101 for treatment of Huntington's disease from Laxdale Ltd. The agreement includes an up-front payment in cash and stock to Laxdale, future milestones and royalties. Laxdale advanced LAX-101 through Phase II placebo-controlled studies.
Antigenics Inc., of New York, expanded its clinical trial of Oncophage to a Phase I/II study, including feasibility and survival as objectives. The study will add five patients to the five enrolled in 1997. Three of the five original patients live today, two with no evidence of disease. Oncophage, an immunotherapeutic based on Antigenics' heat-shock protein technology, is also being evaluated in a Phase III trial in kidney cancer and in Phase II trials in sarcoma, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and gastric cancer and melanoma.
Avant Immunotherapeutics Inc., of Needham, Mass., began a 600-patient, placebo-controlled Phase II trial of the complement inhibitor TP10. The study in patients undergoing cardiopulmonary bypass surgery is designed to assess the ability of TP10 to mitigate injury to the heart, brain and other organs while patients are placed on cardiopulmonary bypass circuits.
Caliper Technologies Corp., of Mountain View, Calif., said the court reduced the final damages awarded to Caliper in its trade secret misappropriation suit against Aclara BioSciences Inc., also of Mountain View, by $17 million, from $52 million to $35 million. That ruling, Caliper said, reflects a decrease of $12 million, the amount awarded Caliper in a separate suit against attorneys in connection with the alleged trade secret misappropriation. The court also ruled for a $5 million reduction in the damages awarded Caliper in October for conversion, concluding those damages would constitute double recovery. Last week Caliper received five U.S. patents that broadly cover the disputed technology - microfluidics used for lab-on-a-chip high-throughput assays. Aclara's stock (NASDAQ:ACLA) rose 21 percent on the news Monday, gaining $2.188 to close at $12.625. Caliper's stock (NASDAQ:CALP) rose $6.125, or 15 percent, to close at $48.375. (See BioWorld Today, Oct. 31, 2000.)
Cambrex Corp., of East Rutherford, N.J., and Synthon Chiragenics Corp., of Monmouth Junction, N.J., entered a four-year collaboration for the development, manufacture and supply of advanced chiral compounds for use in therapeutic drugs. Cambrex will invest $3 million in Synthon in exchange for equity and warrants for additional ownership. The multimillion dollar manufacturing agreement is renewable, and Synthon will fund scientific personnel within the Cambrex Center of Technical Excellence for work on joint projects.
Carrington Laboratories Inc., of Irving, Texas, contracted with the Southern Research Institute, of Birmingham, Ala., to evaluate Carrington's charged polysaccharide, CR1013, as a drug delivery agent. Results of the study are expected in mid-2001.
Cephalon Inc., of West Chester, Pa., entered a collaboration with Novartis Pharma AG, of Basel, Switzerland, to consolidate sales and marketing efforts of Novartis' central nervous system products with Cephalon's Provigil in the United Kingdom. Cephalon's UK subsidiary, Cephalon (UK) Ltd., will exclusively market the epilepsy therapeutic Tegretol (carbamazepine); Ritalin (methylphenidate), for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder; Anafranil (clomipramine), for depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder; and Lioresal (baclofen), for spasticity, together with Provigil, Cephalon's narcolepsy therapeutic. Cephalon will pay Novartis about $40 million in installments due by the end of 2002, and the companies will share the five-product UK revenues.
Corixa Corp., of Seattle, and Coulter Pharmaceutical Inc., of South San Francisco, updated their merger plans, saying Corixa Chairman and CEO Steven Gillis will hold that position in the merged corporation, which will continue operations as Corixa. Coulter CEO and President Michael Bigham will join Corixa's board as vice chairman. The companies also named other board members and executives.
Cubist Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., acquired worldwide rights to oral ceftriaxone, an orally active version of the market-leading intravenous antibiotic Rocephin, from International Health Management Associates Inc., of Chicago. Terms of the deal for the third-generation cephalosporin were not disclosed.
Deltagen Inc., of Menlo Park, Calif., entered an agreement with the University of Kentucky for an exclusive license to a potential treatment for acute myelogenous leukemia. Deltagen received an exclusive worldwide license for research, development and commercialization of methods and compounds targeting CD123, a leukemic cell marker. Financial terms were undisclosed.
Genaissance Pharmaceuticals Inc., of New Haven, Conn., entered a multiyear, worldwide agreement with Janssen Research Foundation, a Johnson & Johnson company, for discovery, development and commercialization of Genaissance's HAP technology. The R.W. Johnson Pharmaceutical Research Institute, also a J&J company, will gain a license to the HAP technology as a part of the agreement. Financial terms were undisclosed. HAP covers Genaissance's Isogenomics database of HAP Markers for pharmaceutically relevant genes and the DecoGen Informatics system, which provides data management and genetic analysis, including correlation of HAP Markers and drug response.
Genomics One Corp., of Laval, Quebec, said it generated nine monoclonal antibodies with strong immunomodulating activity in functional assays. Three of the nine, the company said, show immunosuppressant activity, and have potential as therapeutics in autoimmune disease.
Genzyme General, of Cambridge, Mass., entered a license agreement for a class of small-molecule lysosomal storage disorder treatment compounds with the University of Michigan. The compounds have potential as treatments for a number of lysosomal storage disorders, including Gaucher's disease, Fabry's disease, Tay-Sachs disease and Sandhoff disease, through the inhibition of glycolipid synthesis.
GPC Biotech AG, of Munich, Germany, licensed protein-protein interaction intellectual property from the California Institute of Technology/CalTech, of Pasadena, Calif., and Garching Innovation, licensing agent for the Max Planck Gesellshaft Institute, of Munich. The technology, Detection Enhanced Ubiquitin Split Protein Sensor, will be used by GPC for internal product development and in its drug discovery alliances.
Lorus Therapeutics Inc., of Toronto, said its lead anticancer compound, Virulizin, demonstrated strong antitumor activity in a mouse model of pancreatic cancer tumor cells that showed resistance to gemcitabine. Lorus said the results support the filing of an investigational new drug application to begin a Phase III trial in North America, and the company plans to initiate a pivotal Phase III trial next year.
Lytropic Therapeutics Inc., of Richmond, Va., formed a joint venture with Elan Pharmaceutical Technologies, the drug delivery arm of Elan Corp. plc, of Dublin, Ireland, to research, develop and possibly commercialize pharmaceutical products combining Lytropic's LyoCell drug delivery technology and Elan's NanoCrystal drug delivery method. The unnamed venture is a subsidiary of Lytropic. Financial terms of the venture were undisclosed.
Medicure Inc., of Winnipeg, Manitoba, will list class A shares on the Canadian Venture Exchange under the symbol "MHP.A." Medicure focuses on the development of technology for unmet cardiovascular needs.
National Institutes of Health researchers identified a gene that may cause a predisposition to autism. The gene, HOXA1, plays a role in early brain development, according to research published in the December issue of Teratology. The research is a part of a $42 million NIH initiative, the Collaborative Program of Excellence in Autism.
Nycomed Amersham plc, of Princeton, N.J., formed a collaboration with the Cleveland Clinic Foundation to provide technical support and funding for the foundation's examination of the genetic basis for prostate cancer. Terms of the collaboration were undisclosed.
Oncolytics Biotech Inc., of Calgary, Alberta, said it received eligibility under the Prompt Offering Qualification System, a designation that will provide the company with the ability to prepare and file a short-form prospectus under Canada's prompt offering qualification system, which shortens the time period and streamlines the procedures for issuers and security holders to access the Canadian capital markets through a prospectus offering. Oncolytics Biotech focuses on the development of reovirus as a cancer therapeutic.
Progen Industries Ltd., of Brisbane, Australia, completed recruitment for a Phase Ib trial of PI-88, its sulfated oligosaccharide anti-angiogenic agent. The company is planning Phase II trials for the compound, expected to begin in 2001. The Phase Ib trial was designed to assess the safety and tolerability of PI-88 in advanced-stage cancer patients.
Proteus International plc, of Macclesfield, UK, and CEA-LETI, of Grenoble, France, a member of the Commissariat a l'Energie Atomique, the French Agency for Atomic Energy, entered a partnership aimed at developing and industrializing Phenomics-based biochips. Phenomics is Proteus technology that permits rapid access to the entire proteome from a given genome or fragment of a genome. The partnership will miniaturize the Phenomics 96-well microtiterplate format into more than 8,000 micro-well biochips of only 3cm 2 in size.
Qiagen N.V., of Venlo, the Netherlands, and Luminex Corp., of Austin, Texas, entered a strategic alliance to develop a range of consumable kits and assays or basic research and drug discovery applications using Luminex's proprietary LabMAP technology. Qiagen will distribute the kits, and plans to launch the first line of reagents and kits in the third quarter of 2001. Luminex received an undisclosed up-front payment, and will receive royalty payments on commercialized kits.
Ribozyme Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Boulder, Colo., adopted a shareholder rights plan to protect and maximize shareholder value in the event of a hostile bid to acquire RPI. The plan imposes a significant penalty upon a person or group that acquires 15 percent or more of the company's outstanding stock without the RPI board's approval.
Schroder Ventures Life Sciences, of Boston, was appointed to manage and administer the International Biotechnology Trust plc, a specialty investment trust listed on the London Stock Exchange with net assets of about $507 million and a market capitalization of about $406 million. SVLS is a division of the Schroder Ventures group, and has raised $400 million since 1983 for investment in the life sciences sector. About $280 million of that has been invested in about 100 companies.
The Parker Hughes Institute, of St. Paul, Minn., discovered a new target for the treatment of asthma. Janus Kinase 3, a cellular protein thought to control asthmatic reactions, will be attacked with an inhibitor, WHI-P97, a Parker Hughes compound that's shown promising results in a mouse model.
TherImmune Research Corp., of Gaithersburg, Md., leased a 26,000-square-foot facility in Gaithersburg. TherImmune will use the space for corporate offices, regulatory affairs offices, analytical and immunology services and nonclinical toxicology services.