¿ Amrad Corp. Ltd., of Victoria, Australia, said it's seeking new leadership as a part of restructuring aimed at focusing solely on pharmaceutical and biotech research and development. Amrad plans to trim staff to about 60 from 300 by the end of the year through the divestment of four non-core businesses. The company has moved away from broad-based pharmaceutical pursuits in the last 12 months, and expects to complete the restructuring in the next year.
¿ Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Diego, completed the feasibility stage of its collaboration with Alkermes Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., for the development of an injectable long-acting release formulation of AC2993, Amylin's Type II diabetes treatment. The goal of the program is a formulation of the drug for monthly dosing. Clinical studies of the therapeutic are expected to begin in the first half of 2001.
¿ ArQule Inc., of Woburn, Mass., entered a collaboration with Genome Therapeutics Corp., of Waltham, Mass., for drug discovery using ArQule's Parallel Track Drug Discovery Platform to screen and optimize compounds against Genome Therapeutics targets derived from its PathoGenome Database. The agreement, which replaces the companies' 1998 collaboration, calls for joint ownership to all lead compounds and commercial outcomes resulting from the collaboration. Financial terms were not disclosed.
¿ Atrix Laboratories Inc., of Fort Collins, Colo., initiated legal action against Block Drug Co., of Jersey City, N.J., on several issues. The charges range from disputes over pricing and payment schedules mandated under the contractual agreement between Block and Atrix, to a demand by Atrix for a meeting to discuss Block's alleged failure to perform its obligations to use reasonable best efforts in the selling and marketing of the dental product Atridox.
¿ Avax Technologies Inc., of Kansas City, Mo., said data from its thymidine kinase suicide gene program was published in Gene Therapy. Data indicate that efficacy of T-cell-mediated suicide gene therapy for reducing reactions of T cells against grafted foreign cells, tissues or organs may be applicable to other T-cell-mediated diseases.
¿ Boston Biomedica Inc. of West Bridgewater, Mass., said subsidiary Panacos Pharmaceuticals Inc. received a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research grant of $97,500 to support its HIV vaccine discovery and development program. The vaccine focuses on regions of the gp41 envelope glycoprotein of HIV-1 that appear only transiently during the infection process.
¿ Cantab Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Cambridge, England, said results of the first two randomized Phase II trials of TH-GW conducted by SmithKline Beecham plc, of London, showed no significant difference in genital wart recurrence in treated patients compared to the control group. SKB, which is funding the development of TH-GW, discontinued investment in the compound as a vaccine for genital warts. Cantab's stock (NASDAQ:CNTBY) dropped 57 percent Wednesday on the news, falling $5.625 to close at $4.25.
¿ Celera Genomics, of Rockville, Md., signed agreements with the Weizmann Institute of Science, of Rehovot, Israel; California Institute of Technology, of Pasadena, Calif.; and the Institute for Genomic Research, of Rockville, Md., to provide comprehensive, multiyear subscriptions to certain Celera database products. The annual subscription rates are dependent on the nature of the subscription, size of the institution and the number of users. Financial terms were not disclosed.
¿ CollaGenex Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Newtown, Pa., received a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research grant to fund the development of CMT-3, an inhibitor of multiple proteases and cytokines for the treatment of acute lung injury. CMT-3, also known as Metastat, is in Phase I/II clinical trials for treatment of various cancers in studies sponsored by the National Cancer Institute.
¿ Cortex Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Irvine, Calif., said the National Institutes of Health gave notification it would fund Cortex's Phase II Small Business Innovation Research follow-on grant application in the amount of $1.07 million over three years for the development of Ampakine CX516, a novel stroke therapy. Ampakine CX516 showed efficacy as a neuroprotective in the Phase I stage of the company's first SBIR grant.
¿ Genomic Solutions Inc., of Ann Arbor, Mich., entered a non-exclusive research collaboration with Research Genetics, a division of Invitrogen Corp., of San Diego, that calls for Research to supply PCR product to Genomic Solutions for printing on GeneMAP microarrays. The Research Genetics libraries consist of more than 40,000 human genes, 17,500 rat genes and 5,000 mouse genes. Financial terms were not disclosed.
¿ Lexicon Genetics Inc., of The Woodlands, Texas, granted a non-exclusive sub-license to Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., of New York, for use of parts of Lexicon's positive-negative selection and isogenic DNA technologies. BMS will use the technology for generation of internal research knockout mice to gain predictive information about gene products.
¿ Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Diego, received marketing authorization from the European Commission for Panretin gel for the topical treatment of cutaneous lesions in patients with AIDS-related Kaposi's sarcoma. The FDA approved the gel in February 1999.
¿ Nexell Therapeutics Inc., of Irvine, Calif., completed an organizational restructuring to optimize its allocation of financial and human resources, eliminating non-core positions, consolidating various management functions and increasing departmental efficiency. The move is expected to save $6 million per year, and result in a $500,000 charge in the fourth quarter. Nexell's stock (NASDAQ:NEXL) fell 3 cents Wednesday, closing at $6.90.
¿ Pain Therapeutics Inc., of South San Francisco, initiated a Phase IIb clinical trial of PTI-601, its opioid treatment for moderate pain. The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, 350-patient trial is designed to show safety and efficacy vs. placebo or tramadol.
¿ Xenova Group plc, of Slough, UK, said it found a positive outcome in the second of three Phase IIa pharmacokinetic trials of XR9576, this one with the compound administered in combination with doxorubicin. XR9576 is a P-glycoprotein pump inhibitor designed to address multidrug resistance in cancer. A similar study of the compound with vinorelbine should be completed shortly, and the company expects XR9576 to enter pivotal Phase III clinical trials by the end of this year.
¿ Zeltia-PharmaMar, of Madrid, Spain, said results of clinical trials of ET-743 in treatment of sarcoma support future development. Researchers from the company said the compound exhibited lasting clinical benefits, a positive safety record and antitumor activity in a broad variety of sarcomas and in other cancer types including breast, womb and ovarian cancers, mesothelioma and melanoma.