¿ Amersham Pharmacia Biotech, of Piscataway, N.J., entered an agreement granting early access to its SNiPer scoring system to the University of Washington's Department of Molecular Biology. The university will use the analysis tool in a validation study focused on typing genetic differences between individuals in the angiotensinogen gene, a blood pressure regulation protein encoder.
¿ Antigenics Inc., of New York, completed its merger with Aquila Biopharmaceuticals Inc., of Framingham, Mass. Aquila will now operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Antigenics. In connection with the merger, Antigenics will issue approximately 2.5 million shares of stock, based on an exchange ratio of 0.2898 shares of Antigenics' stock for each share of Aquila stock. The deal was valued at $40 million. (See BioWorld Today, Aug. 22, 2000.)
¿ Aquasearch Inc., of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, said it will begin a clinical trial of the carotenoid astaxanthin for treatment of exercise-induced asthma. The 60-patient, randomized, placebo-controlled, 30-day study will measure the compound's ability to decrease airway obstruction in patients who experience asthma as a result of exercise.
¿ Arradial Inc., of Boston, completed an initial venture capital financing of $3 million and will use the proceeds to complete the development and commercialization of its personal desktop laboratory microarray screening system. The round was led by Oxford Bioscience Partners, of Westport, Conn., and included an investment from Boston University's Community Technology Fund. Arradial aims to provide tools that accelerate the discovery and validation of novel human health therapeutic compounds.
¿ AVI BioPharma Inc., of Portland, Ore., said its NeuGene antisense compounds are effective through transdermal administration, according to data found through collaborative study with the University of Nebraska. The topically applied NeuGene successfully targeted the liver enzyme cytochome P450, which regulates the metabolism of most drugs, showing, the company said, promise in enhancing the effectiveness of many currently approved drugs.
¿ Baxter Healthcare Corp., of Deerfield, Ill., said its Hyland Immuno business initiated a Phase III trial of its recombinant Factor VIII therapy for the treatment of hemophilia A. Factor VIII is the protein in human blood critical for proper blood coagulation and is lacking in hemophilia A sufferers. The trial will enroll 89 previously treated patients with hemophilia A and will be conducted in 20 centers in the United States and Europe.
¿ BioVex Ltd., of London, said preclinical development commenced with ImmunoVEX, its lead immunotherapeutic product for metastatic cancer therapy and with NeuroVEX, its lead product for the treatment of Parkinson's disease. ImmunoVEX vectors deliver genes to the dendritic cells of the immune system to stimulate an immune attack against cancers and chronic infectious disease, as well as to screen genes to identify potent new immune-based antitumor and anti-infective agents. NeuroVEX vectors deliver genes to the nervous system to treat degenerative and other conditions and to evaluate in vivo function.
¿ BresaGen Ltd., of Adelaide, Australia, completed its acquisition of U.S.-based CytoGenesis Inc. The acquisition will be paid through the issue of approximately 7 million BresaGen shares and 2 million options. BresaGen also raised $15.3 million through the issue of 10 million additional shares. BresaGen said its goal is developing a definitive cure for Parkinson's disease.
¿ Genta Inc., of Berkeley Heights, N.J., said researchers reported Genasense, its lead antisense compound, reduced levels of Bcl-2 protein, caused major antitumor responses, and possibly extended the life of patients, when used in combination with dacarbazine in its Phase I/II study. The report was published in the Nov. 18, 2000, issue of The Lancet.
¿ InforMax Inc., of Rockville, Md., said it is collaborating with the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, of Cambridge, Mass., to advance genomic research efforts. The Whitehead Institute has licensed GenoMax from InforMax and will use it and then give input to InforMax's development process for future enhancements.
¿ Matritech Inc., of Newton, Mass., sold 230,713 shares of common stock to Acqua Wellington North American Equities Fund Ltd. for an aggregate price of $1.2 million, or $5.20 per share. The purchase price was determined based on a slight discount to the volume-weighted average market price for a 20-day trading period that ended on Nov. 13. Proceeds will be used to fund operating costs, capital expenditures and working capital needs, which may include costs to further develop its NMP66 breast cancer blood test.
¿ Medarex Inc., of Princeton, N.J., and Epigen Inc., of Millbrook, N.Y., said they will collaborate to research, develop and commercialize antibody-based cancer therapeutics. Medarex will use its HuMAb-Mouse technology to develop high-affinity, fully human antibodies to one or more targets contributed to the collaboration by Epigen. Under the terms, the companies will share equally in the preclinical and clinical development and subsequent commercialization of resulting therapeutics. Medarex's stock (NASDAQ:MEDX) dropped $8.187 Friday, or 17 percent, to close at $41.062.
¿ Targeted Genetics Corp., of Seattle, said the first patient in a Phase II trial of tgAAV-CF, its lead product for the treatment of cystic fibrosis, received study drug Thursday at Stanford University Medical Center. Under the terms of its collaboration with Celltech Group plc, of Slough, UK, the opening for enrollment of a Phase II study of aerosolized tgAAV-CF triggers a $2 million milestone payment to Targeted Genetics.
¿ United Therapeutics Corp., of Silver Spring, Md., and Antigen Pharmaceuticals Ltd., of Dublin, Ireland, entered an alliance to distribute UT-15 (pending tradename: Uniprost) in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. United Therapeutics expects to file for regulatory approval in the United Kingdom and Ireland next year for UT-15. Financial terms were not disclosed.
¿ Zyomyx Inc., of Hayward, Calif., entered a collaborative and licensing agreement with Fujirebio Inc., of Tokyo, to develop protein biochips for use in diagnostics, pharmacogenomics and screening tools for biomedical research. Zyomyx will receive funding from Fujirebio to support research and development efforts for three years and royalty payments on future sales. Fujirebio will be granted exclusive commercialization rights in Japan.