¿Amersham Pharmacia Biotech, of Uppsala Sweden, a Nycomed Amersham plc company, said it has won a patent infringement case against PerSeptive Biosystems, Inc., of Framingham, Mass, a PE Corp. unit. The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit said the patents related to perfusion chromatography and assigned to PerSeptive Biosystems are unenforceable.

¿AnVil Informatics Inc., of Lowell, Mass., and PolyGenyx Inc., of Worcester, Mass., said they have agreed to collaborate on bioinformatics projects related to PolyGenyx's genotyping and haplotyping programs. In the initial stages, AnVil will construct a database capable of storing the flow of data originating from PolyGenyx's laboratory in Worcester.

¿Ariad Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., said it now has the ability to deliver genes to therapeutically relevant numbers of stem cells by using its regulated Gene Expression Technology (ARGENT) system. Using ARGENT, bone marrow stem cells are genetically engineered, transplanted into mice and then their in vivo growth and differentiation controlled with Ariad's small-molecule Dimerizer Drug.

¿Aurora Biosciences Corporation, of San Diego, said it has granted a non-exclusive license for its Vivid screening technology to Pfizer Inc., of New York, and will receive annual license fees from Pfizer alongside payments for reagents over several years.

¿Axcan Pharma Inc., of Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, said its Phase III trial of Photofrin for high-grade dysplasia (HGD) associated with Barrett's esophagus showed 72 percent of patients receiving Photofrin in Photodynamic Therapy along with omeprazole had their HGD eliminated. Of those patients in the trial receiving just omeprazole, 31 percent had HGD eliminated. The results were released at the 6th World Congress of the International Organization for Statistical Studies of Diseases of the Esophagus, held in Paris.

¿Cel-Sci Corp., of Vienna, Va., said its agreement with the Naval Medical Research Center of the U.S. Navy to mutually develop a malaria vaccine using Cel-Sci's Ligand Epitope Antigen Presentation System (L.E.A.P.S.) has been extended for a second time. L.E.A.P.S. is a T-cell modulation system thought to be a delivery vehicle that directs the immune system to mount a response to treat, control or prevent disease.

¿Enzon Inc., of Piscataway, N.J., said it filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Hoffmann-La Roche Inc. and Roche Laboratories in Federal Court in New Jersey. Enzon contends its new U.S. patent, 6,113,906, is violated by Roche's Pegasys, a pegylated alpha interferon-2a product.

¿Eurogene Ltd., of London, said it has completed the first successful gene transfer in mammals using a baculovirus-mediated vector system through its collar-reservoir local delivery device. Eurogene said this may allow for a new vector system for human gene therapy, and if remaining preclinical trials are similarly successful, human trials could begin before the end of 2001.

¿ExonHit Therapeutics, of Paris, said it raised EUR13.9 million (US$12.4 million) in a private equity financing, money that will be used to develop North American sales of Safe-Hit, its predictive toxicology tool, and to launch Proof-Hit, a range of diagnostic tools used to measure a patient's response to chemotherapy. AGF Private Equity and BNP Private Equity were two new investors for the company.

¿Hemispherx Biopharma Inc., of Philadelphia, said it received FDA authorization to conduct an advanced multicenter clinical study on drug-resistant HIV. The study will involve 100 patients in the U.S. who have exhibited multidrug resistance to other antivirals.

¿Hybrigenics S.A., of Paris, and XTL Biopharmaceuticals Ltd., of Rehovot, Israel, said they will work together to develop new drugs for hepatitis C virus. Under the agreement, the two companies will share the costs of research and development and each will hold equal interests in any products developed. They will combine Hybrigenics' functional proteomics and bioinformatics discovery platform with XTL's predictive models of HCV.

¿Invitrogen Corp. and Diversa Corp., both of San Diego, announced the availability of ThermalAce DNA polymerase, a highly stable enzyme that improves DNA amplification for polymerase chain reactions (PCR). ThermalAce DNA polymerase was licensed from Diversa and is marketed by Invitrogen. The new enzyme is unique in that it is more stable and remains active longer than other similar proofreading enzymes used in PCR, Invitrogen said. Besides the ThermalAce enzyme, Invitrogen is developing two other enzymes from Diversa.

¿Iomai Corp., of Washington, D.C., said Mitsubishi Corp. invested $2 million in the company. Iomai researches the development of pharmaceutical products that use non-invasive access to the body's immune system through the skin.

¿PharmaNetics Inc., of Raleigh, N.C., agreed to terms with Aventis Pharmaceuticals, the U.S. unit of Frankfurt, Germany-based Aventis S.A., on a five-year partnership to develop and commercialize a diagnostic test to be used with Aventis' enoxaparin sodium. Enoxaparin sodium is the leading low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) in the world, with sales last year exceeding $780 million. In return for $5 million paid to PharmaNetics over the next year, PharmaNetics will work solely with Aventis on the LMWH test card for a five-year period. A committee formed by the companies will devise a joint clinical trial and global commercialization strategy, as well as oversee the completion of the test development by filing of registration with the FDA.

¿Promega Corp., of Madison, Wis., said it entered into an agreement with Ophidian Pharmaceuticals Inc., also of Madison, in which Promega would obtain Ophidian's pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities. This would allow Promega, which has annual sales in excess of $100 million, to offer products in the regulated science markets. The purchase is expected to close in late fall. Ophidian in May said it was suspending operations due to its inability to raise capital. (See BioWorld Today, May 5, 2000, p. 1.)

¿Synergy Pharmaceuticals, Inc., of Somerset, N.J., said it was awarded a Small Business Technology Transfer Program grant of $97,917 from the National Institutes of Health. The grant will be used to conduct further research on the program titled, "Mutation Refraction Broad Spectrum Anti-Hepatitis Drug."

¿X-Ceptor Therapeutics Inc., of San Diego, said orphan receptors liver X and farnesoid X were implicated as important drug discovery targets for cholesterol-lowering therapy, as reported in the Sept. 1, 2000 edition of Science. Researchers found that the modulation of the receptors controls genes critical to decreasing cholesterol absorption in the intestine, altering bile acid synthesis in the liver and disposing of excess cholesterol in lipid accumulating cells in the coronary arteries.

No Comments