¿ Advanced Tissue Sciences Inc., of La Jolla, Calif., has been awarded a four-year grant in excess of $800,000 from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research to develop tissue-engineered human cartilage for the treatment of temporomandibular disorders.
¿ Agritope Inc., of Portland, Ore., and Rohm and Haas Company, have joined forces to create a new plant transformation marker selection system for use in agricultural biotechnology. When fully developed, the transformation system will permit the rapid creation of improved plant varieties. With this new system, only transformed plants will produce an easily detected, naturally occurring plant compound that will enable the efficient identification of transformed plants in the laboratory. This improved method will not use antibiotic or herbicide resistance in the selection process. Agritope earlier this month agreed to a merger with Exelixis Inc., of South San Francisco.
¿ Akkadix Corp., of La Jolla, Calif., licensed rights to enhanced homologous recombination and other technologies from Pangene Corp., of Mountain View, Calif. The license augments Akkadix's own development program for homologous recombination in plants. Pangene was granted a non-exclusive cross-license to Akkadix's bioinformatics technology. The companies also agreed to a cross-licensing agreement covering improvements either company makes to the technologies during the next three years.
¿ Amersham Pharmacia Biotech, of Piscataway, N.J., and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, of Moss Landing, Calif., reported the discovery of a new type of light-activated protein in surface water bacteria that may represent a new mechanism for cycling carbon in the oceans and utilizing sunlight for food production. Results of the study were published in the Sept. 15, 2000, issue of Science. The protein, a proteorthodopsin, was discovered through genomic analyses of bacteria found in plankton taken from surface waters in Monterey Bay.
¿ Amgen Inc., of Thousand Oaks, Calif., has launched RenalAdvances.com, one of the first Web sites to cater specifically to the clinical and informational needs of the nephrology health care community. The site offers access to a broad range of nephrology news and information as well as clinical management tools.
¿ Applied Molecular Evolution Inc., of San Diego, granted a non-exclusive sublicense to Idexx Laboratories Inc., of Westbrook, Maine, under the Kauffman patents for directed evolution. Idexx will use the technology to develop diagnostic applications.
¿ Atrix Laboratories Inc., of Fort Collins Colo., has received FDA marketing clearance for the Atrisorb FreeFlow guided tissue regeneration barrier with the antibiotic doxycycline. The clearance generated a milestone payment from marketing partner Block Drug Corp., of Jersey City, N.J.
¿ Biopure Corp., of Cambridge, Mass., made available a proprietary laboratory test that detects the presence of its oxygen therapeutic drugs in human and animal blood. The test can be used to identify unauthorized or inappropriate use of these products, including their use as performance-enhancing agents in competitive athletes and racing animals. Biopure's products are intravenously administered pharmaceuticals that deliver oxygen to the body's tissues and enhance the offloading of oxygen from circulating red blood cells.
¿ Cambridge Antibody Technology plc, of London, has granted Wyeth-Ayerst Research an exclusive product license to develop antibody drugs for Alzheimer's disease. CAT will receive an unspecified advance fee, clinical milestones and royalty payments from future sales if the medicines reach the market. The antibody approach, now in preclinical development, targets the amyloid peptide, which forms plaques in the brains of Alzheimer's disease patients.
¿ Cambridge Heart Inc., of Bedford, Mass., has raised $8.4 million through a private placement primarily with a group of institutional investors led by Frontier Capital Management, of Boston. The financing involves the sale of 2.4 million common shares at the effective price of $3.50 per share. The investors also will receive warrants to purchase 716,850 shares at an exercise price of $3.50. Cambridge Heart is engaged in the research, development and commercialization of products for the non-invasive diagnosis of cardiac disease.
¿ CEL-SCI Corp., of Vienna, Va., and Edmund Tramont, of the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute, have been selected to receive a Maryland Industrial Partnership award. They will conduct a Phase I human clinical trial of CEL-SCI's Multikine in women with HIV or human papilloma virus who also have cervical cancer. The goal of the study is to obtain safety and preliminary efficacy data on Multikine as a treatment for precancerous lesions of the cervix and human cancer/neoplasia.
¿ Collateral Therapeutics Inc., of San Diego, will support the establishment of a research chair at the University of California San Diego Cardiovascular Center focused on discovery research in the field of non-surgical cardiovascular gene therapy. The associated discovery research support will be funded out of a contribution of up to 50,000 shares of Collateral Therapeutics common stock to the UC, San Diego, Foundation.
¿ Cytogen Corp., of Princeton, N.J. and Draximage, of Missisauga, Ontario, signed a binding letter of intent under which Cytogen will market and distribute Draximage's BrachySeed implant for localized cancer treatment, primarily prostate cancer. Under the terms of the agreement, Draximage will receive both milestone payments and royalties on sales. Draximage is a wholly owned radiopharmaceutical subsidiary of Draxis Health Inc.
¿ Diacrin Inc., of Charlestown, Mass. and Genzyme General, of Cambridge, Mass., are extending the blinded NeuroCell-PD Phase II clinical trial for Parkinson's disease from 12 to 18 months based on discussions with the FDA and clinical investigators. The extension is intended to maximize the amount of long-term durability data for NeuroCell-PD. The project is part of a joint venture between the companies founded in 1996.
¿ Diagnostic Products Corp., of Los Angeles, and Baltimore-based Minerva Pharmaceuticals Inc. entered a license agreement for the development of immunoassays for a newly described malignancy protein. Minerva's founding scientists discovered that altered components of the DNA synthesome are found in patients with various cancers. DPC is currently expanding its menu of tumor markers. The most successful of these is prostate specific antigen, which is used for the diagnosis of prostate cancer in males.
¿ Dyax Corp., of Cambridge, Mass., acquired worldwide patent rights to yeast display technology from Unilever Nederland B.V. in a move to expand its protein peptide and antibody display techniques. The patent rights complement the company's phage display technology, and include two newly issued U.S. patents, 6,114,147 and 6,027,910.
¿ Genomics Collaborative Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., and PolyGenyx Inc., of Worcester, Mass., said they have entered a partnership to apply PolyGenyx's novel high-throughput HaploScan technology to single nucleotide polymorphism halotyping. Company scientists will collaborate to determine SNPs and halotypes of genes relevant to coronary artery disease. No financial terms were disclosed.
¿ Lexicon Genetics Inc., of The Woodlands, Texas, entered a supply agreement with Affymetrix Inc., of Santa Clara, Calif., to obtain GeneChip array technology for internal drug discovery. Lexicon will use the GeneChip system to analyze and merge genetic information related to its knockout mouse technology.
¿ MacroChem Corp., of Lexington, Mass., reported that SEPA, MacroChem's patented absorption-enhanced technology, enhanced the delivery of a currently marketed topical veterinary drug. In the process of demonstrating SEPA-enhancement feasibility for veterinary applications, MacroChem researchers discovered the novel way to optimize through-the-skin drug delivery for furry animals.
¿ Maxim Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Diego, said 48-week results from its Phase II dose-ranging study of Maxamine in combination with interferon-alpha for the treatment of naove chronically-infected hepatitis C patients indicates a complete viral response in 61 percent of patients, compared to the 29 percent or less response commonly observed with interferon-alpha treatment alone. Maxim will present detailed results of the trial at the Society of Biological Therapy Conference in Berlin.
¿ Maxygen, of Redwood City, Calif., signed a follow-on research agreement and a commercialization agreement with Pfizer Inc., of New York, in the area of biochemical manufacturing. Under the original May 1998 agreement, Maxygen used its MolecularBreeding directed molecular evolution technologies to improve the selectivity of a biosynthetic pathway essential to the manufacture of an undisclosed Pfizer drug. The expanded collaboration includes commercial terms for the process, with success earning Maxygen research and commercial milestones as well as a percentage of all manufacturing cost savings once the optimized commercial process is scaled up at Pfizer. Pfizer also has chosen to fund further improvements in the biosynthetic pathway.
¿ Novavax Inc., of Columbia, Md., announced that the National Institutes of Health recently licensed the rights recombinant hepatitis E virus (HEV) clones and antigen production technology to SmithKline Beecham plc, of London, for the development of a human vaccine. The recombinant HEV DNA clones were co-developed by the NIH and Novavax, while the HEV capsid protein purification process was developed by Novavax.
¿ Nymox Pharmaceutical Corp., of New York, said results of new clinical studies of its 7C Gold test in Alzheimer's disease were positive. The study results were presented at the Second Manhattan Alzheimer Conference in New York. First-morning urine samples from 40 cases of AD and 40 age-matched controls showed that the Nymox 7C Gold Test was more than 90 percent accurate.
¿ Rosetta Inpharmatics Inc., of Kirkland, Wash., made available a new file format called Gene Expression Markup Language (GEML) in order to facilitate the interchange of data from DNA chip and other gene expression technologies into a consistent format for more efficient and extensive data analysis. GEML was developed by Rosetta Inpharmatics in an effort to accommodate the need for researchers to have a consistent gene expression data format to use in analyzing data from the growing number of available gene expression technologies. An important potential utility of the GEML format is in reading molecular signatures of cancer and other diseases through various technology platforms.
¿ Telik Inc., of South San Francisco, Calif., said the underwriters of the company's recent initial public offering of common shares have exercised in full their overallotment option to purchase an additional 750,000 shares of common stock. The completion of the offering results in the sale of a total of 5.75 million shares at $7 per share for gross proceeds of $40.25 million. The public offering was managed by Lehman Brothers Inc. and co-managed by Chase H&Q, Legg Mason Wood Walker Inc., UBS Warburg LLC, and Fidelity Capital Markets, a division of National Financial Services Corp.
¿ TransMolecular Inc., of Birmingham, Ala., has completed a $9 million round of financing. The Series B round was led by TVM Techno Venture Management GmbH, of Munich, Germany. Connecticut-based Tullis-Dickerson & Co. Inc., a prominent health care venture capital firm and existing investor, also participated. Other investors were President Life Sciences Co. Ltd., of Taipei, Taiwan; Pacific Horizon Partners III, of Seattle.; and Portrush Group and Suttle brothers Investments, both of Gadsden, Ala. TransMolecular is developing products to treat central nervous system disorders.
¿ ViroLogic Inc., of South San Francisco, and Merck & Co. Inc., of West Point, Pa., have agreed to develop and execute educational programs on the utility of HIV drug-resistance testing for physicians across the nation. Also, the companies will collaborate to educate physicians on the use of resistance testing in guiding boosted protease inhibitor combination therapy.