¿ AltaRex Corp., of Waltham, Mass., reported new clinical data from its double-blind, placebo-controlled lead OvaRex trial for ovarian cancer. The results complement the previously reported observation correlating the non-specific anti-mouse antibody response to patient benefit. AltaRex said its antibody approach is providing specific patient benefit in its ongoing OvaRex clinical development program involving five studies and more than 500 patients with advanced ovarian cancer. In separate news, AltaRex gave preliminary data from a completed Phase I clinical trial of BrevaRex MAb, demonstrating activation of cellular immune responses in addition to the previously reported humoral immune responses.
¿ AntiCancer Inc., of San Diego, said its imaging technology allows for visualization of gene expression in intact animals in real time using noninvasive techniques. AntiCancer used a jellyfish green fluorescent protein gene as a model and was able to visualize the gene's expression completely in the liver, brain, pancreas, prostate and bone in mice. The new results appear in the latest issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
¿ AviGenics Inc., of Athens, Ga., raised more than $10 million in its second venture capital financing through the private placement of preferred stock. Stephens Group Inc., of Little Rock, Ark., was lead investor. Previous investors that participated were T.D. Javelin, Cordova Technology Partners and Kitty Hawk Capital. New investors included T.D. Lighthouse, Fuqua Ventures and two private investment funds that focus on biotechnology. AviGenics will use the proceeds to commercially validate its transgenic platform for biopharmaceutical production and to partner with the poultry industry for enhancing productivity and food safety. AviGenics is a development-stage biotechnology company applying avian transgenics and cloning to produce biopharmaceuticals in the eggs of chickens.
¿ Calydon Inc., of Sunnyvale, Calif., said Phase I/II study results for its prostate cancer product CN706 showed that PSA levels decreased from baseline in nine of the 11 patients treated at the two highest doses; that adenoviral replication was demonstrated; and the drug was well tolerated in the 20-patient study. Cn706 is an oncolytic virus designed to kill only tumor cells. Results from the study were presented at the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology conference in Boston.
¿ CEL-SCI Corp., of Vienna, Va., sent a letter to management of Molecular Biosystems Inc. (MBI), of San Diego, expressing surprise that the company is selling itself to Alliance Pharmaceutical Corp., of San Diego, at a price of less than 55 cents per share. CEL-SCI said it had been in negotiations with for six months and tendered offers to acquire MBI at a price higher than offered by Alliance. In the letter, CEL-SCI made one final offer to acquire MBI for a total price of about $14.3 million, compared to Alliance's offer of $10.4 million.
¿ Columbia Laboratories Inc., of New York, completed a Phase I trial of its testosterone Progressive Hydration Vaginal Tablet for women. The study demonstrated that the technology could deliver testosterone vaginally over a period of days. The technology also is being used in Columbia's Progressive Hydration Buccal Tablets and the company expects to have Phase II clinical results on the male testosterone Progressive Hydration Buccal Tablets shortly.
¿ DNAPrint genomics Inc., of Sarasota, Fla., and Orchid BioSciences Inc., of Princeton, N.J., said Orchid purchased an option to co-develop and co-commercialize certain existing and future intellectual properties and products of DNAPrint genomics. Under the terms, Orchid also could negotiate partnership terms with DNAPrint for these products and properties. The option covers a range of intellectual properties, including genetic algorithms, software and information resources, and multivariate associations with complex human traits and diseases. Other terms were not disclosed.
¿ Durect Corp., of Cupertino, Calif., began construction of a commercial manufacturing facility that is expected to meet its production needs for Phase III clinical trials currently planned for late 2001 and commercial market supply for Duros sufentanil, its lead product. The new facility is located at the company's headquarters in Cupertino, and is approximately 8,000 square feet. Duros sufentanil will target patients with chronic pain that is stable, opioid responsive and results from a variety of causes.
¿ Galenica Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Frederick, Md., published data in the July 15, 2000, issue of Vaccine showing its lead vaccine immunostimulant, GPI-0100, is able to produce cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CLT), which play a role in cell-mediated immune response and in protection against infectious agents such as viruses, bacteria and, potentially, cancer cells. The data suggest that GPI-0100 adjuvants may retain production of both humoral and cell-mediated immunity and may be useful in the development of vaccines against tumors and infectious diseases.
¿ Immulabs Corp., of Scandia, Minn., said Aggressive American Capital Partners Inc., of Reno, Nev., purchased majority ownership from CEO Ben Traub. Aggressive American is a private corporation that possesses the rights to acquire certain biotechnology projects. Immulabs' strategy is to acquire biotechnology or biomedical companies or technologies focused on the immune system that are significantly developed and nearing market.
¿ IOMED Inc., of Salt Lake City, and EyeTech Pharmaceuticals Inc., of New York, agreed to collaborate and develop a non-invasive drug delivery system for EyeTech's investigational therapy targeting age-related macular degeneration. EyeTech's anti-angiogenesis product, EYE001, will be tested in IOMED's OcuPhor non-invasive transscleral delivery system for active drug transport to the retina and sub-retinal tissues of the eyes. Financial terms were not disclosed.
¿ MitoKor, of San Diego, formed a new partnership with the University of California, San Diego, funded by a BioSTAR (Biotechnology Strategic Targets for Alliances in Research) award. The grant will fund a research collaboration with the laboratory of Robert Terkeltaub, chief of rheumatology at the San Diego Veterans Affairs Medical Center and professor of medicine at UCSD, to develop novel treatments for osteoarthritis. Initial studies will focus on determining whether therapeutic protection of mitochondria can preserve the function of cells in the cartilage of joints.
¿ Repligen Corp., of Needham, Mass., said it received approval from the FDA to initiate a Phase II clinical trial with CTLA4-Ig to evaluate its safety and efficacy in patients receiving a stem cell transplant for leukemia or other malignancies. The primary objective is to determine if CTLA4-Ig, in combination with T-cell depletion, can reduce the incidence or severity of graft-vs.-host disease in patients receiving a stem cell transplant from a genetically mismatched donor. CTLA4 is a T-cell regulatory protein; CTLA4-Ig is a soluble form of CTLA4, developed to prevent GVHD in stem cell transplantation.
¿ Valentis Inc., of Burlingame, Calif., said the trial section of the Japanese Patent Office rejected the opposition brought by Alza Corp., of Mountain View, Calif., against Japanese Patent No. 2948246 issued to Valentis' wholly owned subsidiary, PolyMASC Pharmaceuticals plc, in July 1999. The patent covers the processes for extending the circulation time of liposomes by adding polyethylene glycol chains.
¿ ViroPharma Inc., of Exton, Pa., sold to American Home Products Corp., of Madison, N.J., 104,934 shares of its common stock for $3 million as a result of progress made under their hepatitis C virus collaboration. The price per share was based on a premium to a trailing average price. This sale is in addition to the sale of 96,059 shares sold to AHP for progress under the collaboration, announced Oct. 6.