¿ Angiotech Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Vancouver, British Columbia, initiated a pilot Phase II study to assess the pharmacological activity of systemic micellar paclitaxel in patients with severe psoriasis. The study is designed to be expanded if at least two of the initial six patients receiving monthly 75mg/m2 infusions of micellar paclitaxel show a clinical response, defined as a 50 percent decrease in psoriasis area severity index score.
¿ Applied Biosystems Inc., of Foster City, Calif., obtained an exclusive worldwide license to manufacture and commercialize isotope-coded affinity tag (ICAT) reagents from the University of Washington. The ICAT reagents and system offer researchers a process to prepare samples for analysis by mass spectrometry to identify and determine the relative expression levels of proteins. Financial terms were undisclosed.
¿ Biovation Ltd., of Aberdeen, Scotland, entered research partnerships with Viragen Ltd., the Scottish affiliate of Viragen Inc., of Plantation, Fla., and Procyon Biopharma Inc., of Montreal. Both partnerships will use Biovation's De-Immunisation technology to develop monoclonal antibodies for cancer treatment. In return for technology access, Biovation will receive research revenues, milestone payments and royalties on product sales. Further financial details were undisclosed.
¿ Cel-Sci Corp., of Vienna, Va., entered a development, supply and distribution agreement with Orient Europharma, of Taiwan, giving Orient certain exclusive marketing rights for Multikine, Cel-Sci's immunotherapeutic, for all cancer indications. Orient can market Multikine in Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia, and will fund the clinical testing needed for regulatory approvals in those countries. Cel-Sci will manufacture the product for Orient purchase and distribution, and the companies will share in the revenues from product sale.
¿ Gilead Sciences Inc., of Foster City, Calif., and Fujisawa Healthcare Inc., of Deerfield, Ill., said results of a study comparing two formulations of amphotericin B, AmBisome liposome for injection and Abelcet lipid complex, in the treatment of patients with febrile neutropenia indicate AmBisome's safety profile is better than Abelcet's in terms of nephrotoxicity and infusion-related reactions. The 244-patient study was not designed to evaluate efficacy.
¿ ImmuLogic Pharmaceutical Corp., of Woburn, Mass., made a liquidation distribution of 9 cents per share to all stockholders of record on Nov. 20. The company's shareholders voted to liquidate and dissolve the company in August.
¿ Immuno-Designed Molecules SA, of Paris, completed its third round of financing from private investors, a EUR48.9 million (US$41.6 million) international financing led by Fortis Bank. IDM, which focuses on the development of Cell Drugs, or anticancer immunotherapeutics, said it will use the funding to accelerate development of its clinical program and to finance its anticancer immune response activation research.
¿ MedImmune Inc., of Gaithersburg, Md., said results from two outcomes studies of Synagis (palivizumab) show the humanized monoclonal antibody significantly reduces the rate of hospitalization among high-risk infants due to respiratory syncytial virus. The company reported a 4.8 percent hospitalization rate in studied children receiving Synagis, compared to a 10.6 percent rate in the placebo population.
¿ MelTec GmbH, of Magdeburg, Germany, completed its initial round of financing for DM38 million (US$16.5 million). MelTec, a spin-off from the Molecular Pattern Recognition research group, a department of the Medical Neurobiology Institute at the Otto von Guericke University of Mageburg, is a topological proteomics company focused on immune-mediated diseases, cancer and osteoarthritis. Volksbank Magdeburg and the community task program of Saxony-Anhalt led the seed financing round.
¿ Oncolytics Biotech Inc., of Calgary, Alberta, entered a worldwide licensing agreement with Pfizer Inc., of New York, for the development and marketing of Oncolytics' reovirus for animal use. Financial terms were undisclosed.
¿ Onyx Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Richmond, Calif., said results of a Phase II trial of CI-1042, the company's viral therapeutic agent, administered as a single-agent therapy indicate CI-1042 replicates in tumors and causes regression in refractory head and neck cancers. The trial results indicate that CI-1042 works selectively in mutant cancer cells containing an inactive p53 gene while sparing normal cells with functioning p53 genes.
¿ Rademacher Group Ltd., of Oxford, UK, said it raised #8.6 million (US$12.26 million) privately in a funding round led by Johnson & Johnson Development Corp., which invested #3.5 million. Johnson & Johnson was joined by Northern Ventures and existing investors Apax and Advent Venture Partners. Rademacher focuses on extracellular signaling molecules, or phosphoglycan messengers, which mediate the effects of growth factors and hormones such as insulin, nerve growth factor and cytokines.
¿ SciClone Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Mateo, Calif., initiated a clinical study of Zadaxin, its synthetic immunostimulant peptide, as an immunotherapeutic for treatment of malignant melanoma. The study is designed to evaluate Zadaxin's ability to enhance immunity, elevate T-cell counts and contribute, in combination with active immunization, to specific melanoma immune response.
¿ Sprout Group, of Menlo Park, Calif., said it closed $1.6 billion in new funding, nearly double the firm's previous fund size. Sprout IX, the group's current fund, is expected to be invested over a three-year period with individual investments of $10 million to $50 million.