¿Actelion AG, of Basel, Switzerland, said independent safety committees have recommended continuation as planned of its Phase III clinical trials of bosentan for severe chronic heart failure and tezosentan for acute heart failure, following an assessment of safety data. Recruitment for the bosentan trial, which is called Enable, is now complete. Recruitment for the tezosentan trial, which is called Ritz, is 65 percent complete and is expected to be finished by the end of the year, the company said. Actelion licensed the compounds, both of which are endothelin receptor antagonists, from F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd., of Basel, in 1998.

¿Atugen AG, of Berlin, which focuses on RNA antisense, said it entered a research collaboration with Bayer AG, of Leverkusen, Germany, for gene target validation. Atugen will develop antisense RNA molecules, based on its GeneBlocs technology, that inhibit expression of target sequences identified by Bayer. Financial terms were not disclosed. This marks Atugen's seventh declared deal since its was spun out from Ribozyme Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Boulder, Colo., in 1998.

¿GeneData AG, of Basel, Switzerland, said it entered a multiyear alliance with Byk Gulden, the pharmaceuticals arm of Altana AG, of Constance, Germany, to develop new molecular approaches to drug design based on computer-assisted analysis of functional genomics data. Terms were not disclosed, but the deal grants Byk Gulden access to GeneData's bioinformatics platform, which comprises analytic applications for identifying gene and protein function based on genome sequences; for analyzing gene expression data; for large-scale analysis of protein and metabolic data; and for gene sequence analysis.

¿Mologen Holding AG, of Berlin, said the use of its Midge transfection vector technology in cornea transplants in mice significantly delayed the onset of graft rejection, the most common cause of failure in the late postoperative period. Friedrich Hoffmann at the Hospital Benjamin Franklin in Berlin performed the research, which is described in a paper published in the journal Graefes Archives of Clinical Experimental Ophthalmology. Mologen has filed for patent protection for the technique and is examining how to apply it to human corneal graft rejection.

¿Provalis plc, of Deeside, Wales, received marketing approval in Japan for its doctor's office diabetes monitoring product Glycosal. This follows U.S. 510(k) approval received in August. CEO Phil Gould said, "Coming on the back of last week's news about the U.S. registration, this is excellent further news for the company. We now have global approval of Glycosal within six months of the initial launch." Glycosal measures a diabetic's average level of glucose over the last three months, by measuring a specific fraction of hemoglobin, HbA1c.

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