¿ Axonyx Inc., of New York, opened a European subsidiary in Leiden, the Netherlands, to support diagnostic and therapeutic programs in Alzheimer's disease and other neurological disorders. The European headquarters also will oversee building and managing all of the company's overseas drug and business development activities, including the company's alliance with Serono International S.A., of Switzerland.
¿ Axxima Pharmaceuticals AG, of Martinsried, Germany, appointed Ulrich Elben president and CEO. Elben is the former vice president of drug development for the company.
¿ Cell Pathways Inc., of Horsham, Pa., said Indiana University researchers demonstrated that exisulind and CP461, selective apoptotic antineoplastic drugs (SAANDs), have antiangiogenic properties that inhibit vascular endothelial cell proliferation and new blood vessel formation in addition to their ability to trigger cell death. Both drugs are in human clinical cancer trials. The findings were reported in the Angiogenesis in Cancer meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in Traverse City, Mich.
¿ Cognia Corp., of Mountain View, Calif., and partner Biobase Biological Databases Inc., of Braunschweig, Germany, agreed to license the Transfac Professional Database, an annotated database of gene transcription regulation, to Eli Lilly and Co. and Schering-Plough Research Institute. Both companies will receive access to the Transfac database, which includes transcription factors, genomic binding sites and general binding properties.
¿ Cytomedix Inc., of Deerfield, Ill., signed an agreement to acquire the worldwide manufacturing, sales and distribution rights to Procuren solution, a proprietary wound-healing agent, from Curative Health Services Inc., of Hauppauge, N.Y. Cytomedix develops and sells cellular therapies and molecular biotechnology products for the treatment of disease.
¿ Drugabuse Sciences Inc., of New York, withdrew its planned initial public offering after three price cuts. The company, which develops treatments for drug and alcohol abusers, announced its plan to offer 4 million shares for as high as $13 to $15 each in February. (See BioWorld Today, Feb. 4, 2000.)
¿ Immtech International Inc., of Vernon Hills, Ill., received approval to begin Phase I clinical trials for DB 289, its oral anti-infective in development for treatment of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia. The single escalating-dose trial in about 72 volunteers will be conducted by Parexel International Inc. and enrollment is expected to begin within 30 days. The company anticipates initiating a Phase II study for the compound in the second half of 2001.
¿ Intellivax International Inc., of Montreal, initiated a Phase I trial of its nasal proteosome influenza vaccine to evaluate safety and efficacy in humans. The vaccine, designed to offer mucusal immunity in addition to systemic immunity, could be more effective than standard injectable vaccines, the company said, to which it will be compared.
¿ Martek Biosciences Corp., of Columbia, Md., said the European Patent Office revoked its European DHA patent after a hearing in response to challenges from several potential competitors. Martek said it will appeal, a process that could take as long as two years and automatically reinstates the patent.
¿ Matrix Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Fremont, Calif., said results from a Phase II study of IntraDose Injectable Gel in patients with unresectable liver metastases from colorectal cancer showed six of nine patients who received IntraDose experienced a complete response, or total reduction in viable tumor volume of treated tumors. The remainder of patients experienced a partial response of at least 50 percent reduction of viable tumor volume. Eight of nine of the patients had a durable response with no relapse at the treatment site.
¿ Maxim Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Diego, found that Maxamine (histamine dihydrochloride) as a single-agent therapy significantly reduced growth of Leydic cell sarcoma tumors in rats. Animals with fast-growing Leydic cell sarcoma cells treated with Maxamine showed a 54 percent reduction in liver tumor weight after 10 days (p<.001). In July, Maxim submitted a new drug application for Maximine as an adjuvant to interleukin-2 for treatment of advanced metastatic melanoma.
¿ Pharmacia Corp. of Peapack, N.J., said results from a Phase I/II clinical study of SU5416, an angiogenesis signaling inhibitor, in combination with 5-FU/leucovorin on 27 patients showed that 37 percent of patients had a complete or partial response to treatment, measured by reduction of tumors by at least half. Forty-four percent of patients had stabilization response, or unchanged tumors, and 7 percent showed no response. SU5416 is a synthetic small-molecule inhibitor of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor, and is being evaluated as a colorectal cancer therapeutic in oral form in the U.S. and in Europe, and as an acute myeloid leukemia therapeutic in the U.S. and Germany.
¿ ZymeTx Inc., of Oklahoma City, received an additional $2 million from the sale of senior convertible debentures to funds managed by The Palladin Group L.P., of Maplewood, N.J. Granite Financial Group Inc., of San Diego, facilitated the transaction. The debentures carry a rate of 5 percent, and will reach maturity in October 2002. Each debenture is convertible to one share of ZymeTx stock at a price of $3.12, and that price will be reassessed periodically. Palladin Group also received warrants to purchase 180,000 shares of ZymeTx at $3.17.