¿ Agilent Technologies Inc., of Palo Alto, Calif., entered into a TAP (1) agreement with diaDexus Inc., of Santa Clara, Calif., for gene expression system technology. The agreement will allow diaDexus to obtain access to Agilent's customizable microarray technology for research into the molecular basis for cancer and other diseases. Financial details were not disclosed.
¿ Aradigm Corp., of Hayward, Calif., filed a shelf registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission for the sale of up to $50 million of its common shares. The company said in its filing that it expects to use the proceeds from the offering for manufacturing capacity expansion, research and development and general corporate purposes.
¿ Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Diego, said it reached several milestones in its agreement with Taisho Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., of Tokyo. The milestones are related to acceptance by Taisho of a CART-activated version of a G protein-coupled receptor target selected by Taisho and a request by Taisho that Arena screen the receptor using Arena's in-house chemical library. The CART-activated version of the selected receptor has also been transferred to Taisho for use at Taisho's headquarters in Tokyo. This is the first of up to three receptors that Taisho is entitled to select under the terms of the agreement.
¿ Ecopia BioSciences Inc., of Montreal, entered a research agreement with Merck & Co. Inc., of Whitehouse Station, N.J. The agreement will cover a 12-month period and will involve scheduled payments totaling $125,000. Terms and targets of the agreement were not disclosed.
¿ FeRx Inc., of San Diego, completed a Series C private round of financing, raising $6.1 million. The investors included Brentwood Venture Capital, Whittier Ventures LLC, California Technology Venture Partners and several Canadian institutional investors arranged through Jennings Capital. FeRx has raised $18 million to date and it is focused on the development of its proprietary Magnetic Targeted Carriers technology.
¿ Galileo Laboratories Inc., of Santa Clara, Calif., initiated clinical studies of NIS215 in Type II diabetes. The single-center trial will evaluate improvements of end-organ function achieved by targeting the systemic inflammation and oxidative stress component of diabetes. Primary study endpoints include improvements in glucose control and renal function. Secondary endpoints are reductions in existing and novel serum and urine biomarkers of systemic inflammation and metabolic stress response.
¿ Gilead Sciences Inc., of Foster City, Calif., presented 48-week data on the viral resistance profile of tenofovir disoproxil fumarate, its investigational, once-daily agent for treating HIV. The data are from a prospective virology sub-study of a 48-week Phase II clinical trial in which tenofovir DF or placebo was added to patients' background antiretroviral regimens. The addition of tenofovir DF resulted in a significant reduction in HIV RNA in treatment-experienced patients with common viral mutations associated with thymidine analogue (AZT/d4t) and/or 3TC drug resistance.
¿ Heska Corp., of Fort Collins, Colo., said it licensed gene delivery and DNA manufacturing technology from Valentis Inc., of Burlingame, Calif. Heska will use the technology to complete development of a novel gene medicine for the treatment of canine cancer. Specific terms of the agreement, which include an up-front license fee, milestone payments and a royalty, were not disclosed.
¿ ILEX Oncology Inc., of New York, and Symphar SA, of Geneva, Switzerland, said they have opened a Phase II clinical study of Apomine in Lyon, France. The trial will evaluate the effectiveness of Apomine in the treatment of prostate cancer and will further study the drug's safety. Apomine is an orally active bisphosphonate tetra-ester derivative being co-developed by ILEX and Symphar.
¿ Introgen Therapeutics Inc., of Austin, Texas, said SG Cowen exercised in full the overallotment option of 600,000 shares of its common stock in connection with its Oct. 11 initial public offering. These shares have been offered at the initial public offering price of $8 per share, bringing total proceeds to $38.4 million.
¿ Kosan Biosciences Inc., of Hayward, Calif., said the underwriters of its Oct. 5 public offering exercised in full their overallotment option. The selling of the additional 750,000 shares at the original price of $14 per share brought the total proceeds of the offering, before underwriting discounts and expenses, to $80.5 million.
¿ MGI Pharma Inc., of Minneapolis, chose pancreatic cancer as the first tumor target in its registration strategy for irofulven, its novel anticancer compound. Irofulven will be tested in advanced pancreatic cancer patients whose disease progressed after treatment with gemcitabine, the current standard-of-care treatment for pancreatic cancer. The pivotal Phase III trial is expected to begin enrolling patients near the end of 2000, following finalization of a protocol that will be based upon further discussion with the FDA.
¿ Onyx Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Richmond, Calif., said underwriters for its recently completed public offering purchased an additional 450,000 shares pursuant to their overallotment option. The shares were purchased at $15 and brought the gross proceeds of the offering to $51.75 million. U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray, of Minneapolis, acted as lead manager for the offering, with CIBC World Markets, of New York, as co-manager.
¿ Orchid BioSciences Inc., of Princeton, N.J., said it demonstrated the feasibility of applying high-capacity SNP multiplexing in its Princeton MegaSNPatron facility. Orchid also said it expanded its SNP scoring service capability through the addition of SNPstream 25K systems to its GeneScreen DNA and clinical diagnostic testing facility in Dayton, Ohio. It expects the enhanced MegaSNPatron will be fully operational by early 2001.
¿ Packard BioScience Co., of Meriden, Conn., said wholly owned subsidiary BioSignal Packard Inc. was given an expanded screening contract with AstraZeneca R&D Montreal, of St. Laurent, Quebec. The contract is valued at $5.5 million and follows the three-year contract between the companies, which ended last month. Under the terms of the agreement, BioSignal's technologies will be used to test AstraZeneca's combinatorial compound libraries against a defined selection of G protein-coupled receptors.
¿ Pain Therapeutics Inc., of South San Francisco, initiated two Phase IIb clinical trials on PTI-555, its investigational new morphine. The trials are designed to further demonstrate the drug's safety and efficacy in different clinical models of pain. The studies will enroll nearly 400 patients with acute post-surgical pain and will employ similar safety and efficacy endpoints as its first Phase II studies. Also, the company said it had positive Phase II results on a 300-patient trial on PTI-555.
¿ Palatin Technologies Inc., of Princeton, N.J., said it received gross proceeds of $4.35 million in the second and final portion of a private placement, with approximately 733,000 shares being sold to investors at $5.938 each. For every five shares purchased, the investors received a five-year warrant to purchase one share of common stock at a 25 percent premium to the per-share price of $5.938. The total private placement aggregated $15.15 million in two closings, with $10.8 million announced in September. (See BioWorld Today, Sept. 20, 2000.)
¿ Techniclone Corp., of Tustin, Calif., completed an agreement for a segment of its Tumor Necrosis Therapy (TNT) technology with Merck KGaA, of Darmstadt, Germany. Techniclone granted Merck the right to use its TNT antibodies for producing immunocytokines. Lexigen, the international affiliate of Merck based in Lexington, Mass., will develop these novel immunocytokines using Techniclone's TNT technology. The agreement involves an undisclosed up-front payment and royalties.
¿ Third Wave Technologies Inc., of Madison, Wis., and ID Biomedical Corp., of Vancouver, said they have amicably resolved all outstanding litigation and entered into a settlement and release agreement. ID Biomedical will receive $4 million in an up-front payment and $6 million in Third Wave common stock and in return will not sue Third Wave, its affiliates, distributors, customers and any others for patent infringement or otherwise with respect to the manufacture, use or sale of Third Wave's Invader products. ID Biomedical also dismissed its patent infringement lawsuit and Third Wave, in turn, dismissed its entire declaratory judgement action against ID Biomedical and agreed not to challenge the ownership or validity of ID Biomedical's patents.
¿ Triangle Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Durham, N.C., filed a shelf registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission for the sale of up to $100 million worth of common stock. The antiviral discovery company founded in 1995 said in its filing it would use the proceeds from the offering for general corporate purposes.
¿ VaxGen Inc., of Brisbane, Calif., said that, after a positive safety review of its Phase III clinical trial that will allow the trials to continue to conclusion, it is one year away from its first opportunity to determine if its preventive HIV/AIDS vaccine is effective. The Data and Safety Monitoring Board reviewed VaxGen's Phase III, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials and said the safety and conduction of the trial are all in order.
¿ Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., selected four new drug candidates with the potential to treat viral infections, autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular disorders and inflammation for formal preclinical development in preparation for the start of clinical studies. Two or more of the newly selected drug candidates are expected to enter Phase I clinical studies in 2001. Vertex research programs have been focused on the discovery of second-generation, small-molecule inhibitors of IMPDH, p38 MAP kinase and interleukin-1 beta converting enzyme to arrive at the selection of these four candidates. Vertex also said collaborator Glaxo Wellcome has received approval from the European Commission to market the HIV protease inhibitor Agenerase in all 15 countries of the European Union. Glaxo will market Agenerase in the European Union and Vertex will co-promote the drug in certain countries, where permitted by law. In connection with the approval, Vertex will receive a $3 million milestone payment from Glaxo, payable in the fourth quarter. Vertex's stock (NASDAQ:VRTX) rose 16.5 percent Monday to close at $92.938.
¿ VistaGen Inc., of Mountain View, Calif., signed an agreement with Pfizer Inc., of New York, to jointly develop and evaluate the utility of VistaGen's mouse-derived stem cell-based Genesis Screen technology as a tool for clinically predictive toxicology screening assays. Genesis Screen is designed to enable pharmaceutical companies to develop clinically predictive tools useful for assessing the safety and efficacy of potential drug candidates early in development using the biology offered by in vitro murine stem cell-based assays. Terms were not disclosed.