¿Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc., of New Haven, Conn., completed enrollment - of about 200 rheumatoid arthritis patients - in its Phase II trial of 5G1.1, a fully humanized monoclonal antibody anti-inflammatory complement inhibitor. The multicenter, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial is designed to examine safety and efficacy of repeat dosing over about three months. Separately, the company began dosing in an open-label follow-up study of 5G1.1 in patients from a previous study.
¿Avax Technologies Inc., of Kansas City, Mo., completed its acquisition of Genopoietic SA, of Paris. It also acquired from Pierre et Marie Curie University the rights to patents covering Genopoietic's technologies, and retained the relationship with the university. The acquired company specializes in research and development of cell and gene therapies. The all-stock deal was valued at up to $29 million when disclosed. (See BioWorld Today, July 19, 2000, p. 1.)
¿Genzyme Molecular Oncology, of Framingham, Mass., licensed to Myriad Genetics Inc., of Salt Lake City, exclusive access to its cancer diagnostic patent rights related to an undisclosed gene implicated in hereditary colon cancer. Myriad plans to launch in September a predictive test called Colaris that detects mutations in this gene and one other not involved in the license agreement. The genes also have applicability in endometrial cancer. Genzyme Molecular received an undisclosed up-front payment and will receive royalties on each test performed. Genzyme Molecular's stock (NASDAQ:GZMO) gained $2.61, or 21 percent, Thursday to close at $15.05.
¿Incyte Genomics Inc., of Palo Alto, Calif., said it set up a series of global distribution alliances to increase access to its custom genomics technologies. Nineteen companies in Asia, Europe, Latin American and the U.S. will market, sell and distribute Incyte's clone reagent sets and gene-based research tools and services, including LifeSeq Gene-By-Gene. Financial terms were not disclosed.
¿KS Biomedix Holdings plc, of London, entered a research and development collaboration with Eukarion Inc., of Bedford, Mass., to exploit Eukarion's antibody lipidation and chemical modification technologies. The alliance could produce therapeutics from KSB's super-high-affinity sheep monoclonal antibodies.
¿Lexicon Genetics Inc., of The Woodlands, Texas, said an agreement with Oriental Yeast Co., of Tokyo, Japan, gives Lexicon an entry into the Japanese drug discovery market. The companies will collaborate on a Japanese language web interface designed to provide access to OmniBank, a library of more than 80,000 knockout mouse clones.
¿Matritech Inc., of Newton, Mass., said it entered into a definitive agreement with Acqua Wellington North American Equities Fund Ltd. for an equity financing arrangement covering the sale of up to $30 million in stock over the next 14 months, involving up to 2.45 million shares of stock. Matritech will control the amount and timing of the sales, which would be made a small discount at that time. The company focuses on products to detect, manage and screen for cancer.
¿MetaMorphix Inc., of Baltimore, completed its acquisition of certain animal health assets of Biostar Inc., of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, encompassing R&D facilities, staff and intellectual property. MetaMorphix got enabling technology capable of delivering its Myostatin platform technology for achieving superior production characteristics in livestock. Terms were not disclosed.
¿MorphoGen Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Diego, a company working in the stem cell area, said it received its initial round of equity funding. It expects to move its first product into the clinic next year. MorphoGen uses adult tissue to isolate and proliferate uncommitted, pluripotent stem cells for tissue engineering and organ regeneration purposes. Connect Capital Partners, of New York, assisted in the private placement, the terms of which were not disclosed.
¿Myogen Inc., of Denver, said a paper published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology said that low doses of enoximone, Myogen's lead compound, improved heart failure patients' ability to exercise. The double-blind, placebo-controlled study ran 12 weeks in nine U.S. coronary care centers.
¿Neurochem Inc., of Saint-Laurent, Quebec, said underwriters for its recent initial public offering exercised in full their overallotment option, resulting in the sale of an additional 581,818 shares at C$8.25 apiece, and total IPO proceeds of C$36.8 million (US$24.7 million). Underwriters were Loewen, Ondaatje, McCutcheon Ltd. and Canaccord Capital Corp. (See BioWorld Today, June 23, 2000, p. 1.)
¿Phylos Inc., of Lexington, Mass., said it achieved certain milestones under its research agreement with Amgen Inc., of Thousand Oaks, Calif. They are applying Phylos' PROfusion technology to rapidly identify high-affinity binding agents to Amgen targets. PROfusion is designed to select proteins and peptides with desired properties. Financial terms were not disclosed.
¿Rigel Inc., of South San Francisco, entered into its third collaboration with Novartis Pharma AG, of Basel, Switzerland. It will focus on identifying drug targets that regulate severe respiratory diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Novartis will make an undisclosed up-front payment to Rigel and potential milestones and royalties on sales. They will use Rigel's combinatorial biology technology to identify and validate small-molecule drug targets that regulate lung epithelial cell function. The companies have a collaboration to identify and validate small-molecule drug targets that can mediate specific functions of B cells. And they signed a June 1999 deal worth up to $100 million around five research projects to identify targets using Rigel's functional genomics technology. (See BioWorld Today, June 9, 1999, p. 1.)
¿Supratek Pharma Inc., of Montreal, said SP1017, its non-viral gene delivery system, significantly increases gene expression in muscle, dermal and tumor tissues, as well as attracts dendritic cells to the site of transgene expression. SP1017 was formulated with naked DNA coding for cancer-specific genes in the animal studies, and produced a strong anticancer effect due to a strong cellular immune response, the company said at the American Chemical Society Annual Conference in Washington.
¿Trimeris Inc., of Durham, N.C., said it and Hoffmann-La Roche Inc., of Nutley, N.J., selected a site in Boulder, Colo., to manufacture commercial supplies of the investigational anti-HIV fusion inhibitor, T-20. Trimeris transferred the production process to Roche Colorado.