¿ Advanced Tissue Sciences Inc., of La Jolla, Calif., received a three-year Advanced Technology Program award for $2 million from the National Institutes of Standards and Technology for the development of a tissue-engineered ischemic repair device to induce vascularization of and restore function to tissues and organs with reduced blood supplies. The company also said an S-3 Registration Statement is effective, covering the sale of about 3.5 million shares of stock to the State of Wisconsin Investing Board in a $20 million private placement announced in September. (See BioWorld Today, Sept. 21, 2000, p. 1.)
¿ Atrix Laboratories Inc., of Fort Collins, Colo., said the opiate analgesic fentanyl has been selected as the first compound to be developed in its research joint venture with Elan Pharmaceuticals, of San Francisco. The joint venture plans to develop fentanyl using Atrix's bioerodible mucoadhesive (BEMA) system for breakthrough cancer pain and management of chronic pain. BEMA is a pre-formed disc designed for both systemic and local drug delivery across the oral mucosal membranes.
¿ Avax Technologies Inc., of Kansas City, Mo., is launching a tumor cell-banking initiative to provide the commercial service of collecting and storing patients' own tumor cells for potential therapeutic use. It will use the company's existing Individual Cell Therapy System, a proprietary method of processing procedures and protocols already being used in part to service multicenter U.S. clinical trials of the company's autologous cancer vaccines.
¿ Aventis Behring LLC, of King of Prussia, Pa., said results of its pivotal Phase I trial for Recombumin 20% showed the overall incidence of adverse events was low and no dose-related increase in adverse events could be detected. The trial was designed to assess the tolerability of the recombinant human albumin as a stabilizing component in pharmaceutical and biological products, such as vaccines, recombinant therapies and coatings for medical devices.
¿ Aviron, of Mountain View, Calif., sold 173,142 shares of its common stock to Acqua Wellington Asset Management LLC, at $46.20 per share, totaling $8 million. The purchase price was determined based on the volume weighted average market price for an 18-day trading period that ended on Sept. 29. The company will use the proceeds to fund operating costs, capital expenditures and working capital needs, which may include costs associated with its product FluMist, development of its pipeline and infrastructure and other general purposes.
¿ Centaur Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Sunnyvale, Calif., appointed Paul Wood as president, chief executive officer and director. Wood was promoted from senior vice president of research and preclinical development at Centaur, and also held the same position at Elan Pharmaceuticals. The company's initial therapeutic targets are neurodegenerative conditions.
¿ Entelos Inc., of Menlo Park, Calif., completed an engagement with Bayer AG, of Leverkusen, Germany, to evaluate an interleukin-4 receptor antagonist as a potential treatment for asthmatics. Using Entelos' predictive asthma PhysioLab technology with Bayer's proprietary animal model data, they assessed the impact of treatment on a variety of patient types. Financial terms were not disclosed.
¿ FeRx Inc., of San Diego, was awarded a $100,000 Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Institutes of Health to investigate the targeting of radionuclides such as rhenium and yttrium for the treatment of a variety of solid tumors. FeRx, in conjunction with the grant, established a sponsored research program with the Department of Radiation Oncology at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation.
¿ GeneData AG, of Basel, Switzerland, entered into a multiyear licensing agreement with Schering AG, of Berlin, to use GD Expressionist, GeneData's software system for the analysis of gene expression array data. The agreement is part of an ongoing collaboration between the partners to improve target finding and diagnostic capabilities of expression arrays.
¿ Hybrigenics, of Paris, completed a new round of capital funding for EUR19.5 million (US$17 million), one of the largest ever in France for a biotechnology company. Investors were Apax Partners, Auriga, IMH, HealthCap, Alafi capital, Lombard Odier, Rendex N.V., Sofindev and Medicis AG. In the past year, Hybrigenics has built its biotechnology and bioinformatics teams, perfected and automated its protein interaction mapping, and started the industrialized production of high-throughput screening of protein-protein interaction data.
¿ Incyte Genomics Inc., of Palo Alto, Calif., granted access to its comprehensive collection of proprietary cDNA clones from LifeSeq Gold to NEN Life Science Products, a part of PerkinElmer Inc. Financial terms were not disclosed, although Incyte will receive royalties on sales on NEN microarrays developed using Incyte technology.
¿ Nastech Pharmaceutical Inc., of Hauppauge, N.Y., released results from a Phase I study evaluating intranasal apomorphine hydrochloride for the treatment of sexual dysfunction in women. Apomorphine rapidly appeared in the blood, reaching maximum levels between 22 and 28 minutes. There were no serious side effects, and the product is now planned for an in-home clinical efficacy study by female patients who suffer from sexual dysfunction.
¿ Progen Industries Ltd., of Brisbane, Australia, began two new studies on its compound PI-88 in treating cancer and cardiovascular disease. Data obtained from these healthy volunteer studies will assist in the planning and design of the next phase of clinical trials with PI-88 to be undertaken by Progen and Medigen Biotechnology Corp., of Taiwan. PI-88 is a sulfated oligosaccharide that has been shown to have anti-angiogenic and anti-metastic properties.
¿ Salus Therapeutics Inc., of Salt Lake City, received a $100,000 Phase I Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health. The award will support the company's cystic fibrosis drug discovery program.
¿ Sangamo BioSciences Inc., of Richmond, Calif., had an article titled "DNA Methylation in Health and Disease," authored by Alan Wolffe and Keith Robertson, published in Nature Reviews Genetics. The article describes the critical role DNA methylation plays in maintaining certain cellular functions. Wolffe is Sangamo's chief scientific officer and Robertson is a Sangamo collaborator at the National Cancer Institute.
¿ SangStat Medical Corp., of Fremont, Calif., obtained an exclusive license to technology for a novel cyclosporine capsule formulation that it said will allow the launch of a cyclosporine capsule in Europe that is significantly smaller than others on the market.
¿ Transgenomic Inc., of Omaha, Neb., said a presentation at the American Society for Human Genetics annual meeting showed its product, denaturing high performance liquid chromatography (DHPLC), is an accurate, rapid and cost-effective method for genetic screening. DHPLC is a method for detecting DNA containing mutations based on the highly specific way in which strands of the double helix join together. DHPLC is marketed by Transgenomic and was developed jointly by the University of Innsbruck, Stanford University and Transgenomic.
¿ Trega Biosciences Inc., of San Diego, signed an agreement with PhycoGen Inc., of Portland, Maine, under which Trega will provide its Chem.Folio chemistry services to PhycoGen for use in discovery programs that involve biological cell adhesion processes. Trega will receive up-front and milestone payments in exchange for the design and synthesis of custom compounds according to PhycoGen's specifications. Trega's Chem.Folio combinatorial libraries offer companies access to novel, structurally diverse and information-rich compounds for use in drug discovery programs.