¿Access Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Dallas, said partner Strakan Ltd., based in the UK, will enter an option and license agreement with Healthpoint Ltd., providing Healthpoint rights to ResiDerm A and ResiDerm technology. Access will share in the licensing revenues generated by ResiDerm licensing and royalties on worldwide sales from Strakan's agreement with Healthpoint.

¿ALZA Corp., of Mountain View, Calif., will issue about 12.9 million shares following conversion of about $493 million of 5 percent convertible debentures due 2006. The notes were converted at a rate of about $38.19 per share. Holders of only about $130,000 principal amount chose to receive the redemption price.

¿Amarillo Biosciences Inc., of Amarillo, Texas, said the FDA granted orphan status to its orally administered interferon-alpha for the treatment of papillomavirus warts in the oral cavity of HIV patients. Amarillo previously received orphan status from the FDA for orally administered interferon-alpha for treatment of Behcet's disease.

¿Angiotech Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Vancouver, British Columbia, said Phase I clinical studies of its topical Paclitaxel Gel for psoriasis indicated the drug is safe and well tolerated. Angiotech will seek a dermatology company as a partner to develop the program further.

¿Antex Biologics Inc., of Gaithersburg, Md., said it signed a cooperative research and development agreement with the U.S. Department of the Navy allowing the Navy to continue research on Campyvax, a vaccine against gastroenteritis, diarrhea and traveler's disease caused by Campylobacter. The Navy agreed to fund and conduct clinical trials on the compound through Phase III, and Antex retains all intellectual property and marketing rights.

¿AutoImmune Inc., of Lexington, Mass., said it exclusively licensed to Rycor Technology Investments Corp. an autoimmune disease treatment method that uses native myelin basic protein peptides for injection to non-mucosal sites for treatment of multiple sclerosis. The agreement calls for monthly payments to AutoImmune and an escalating royalty based on cumulative net sales.

¿Beckman Coulter Inc., of Fullerton, Calif., and Oncotech Inc., of Irvine, Calif., formed a strategic alliance to develop and commercialize gene expression technology to diagnose cancer. The companies will collaborate to discover genetic markers for early-stage malignancies in ovarian, breast, colon, prostate and lung cancers.

¿Cerus Corp., of Concord, Calif., and development partner Baxter Healthcare Corp., of Deerfield, Ill., said the results of a European Phase III clinical trial of the Intercept Platelet System support a planned submission for regulatory approval in Europe. The system is the only pathogen-inactivation system for platelets to enter clinical trials, the company said.

¿Diversa Corp., of San Diego, said it signed an agreement with Celanese Ltd., of Frankfurt, Germany, to discover and develop high chemical production microorganisms. Celanese will fund the discovery and optimization processes, pay royalties on the sale of products using the improved microorganisms, and keep exclusive rights to commercialize strains the collaboration discovers.

¿DNAPrint genomics Inc., of Sarasota, Fla., said it added the 2,000th candidate SNP to its Phenome database, which contains a high-density map of SNP and haplotype candidates for pharmocologic and cancer genetics value.

¿GelTex Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Waltham, Mass., completed a Phase I trial of GT160-246, a non-antibiotic toxin binding polymer for treatment and prevention of Clostridium difficile colitis. The double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized study evaluated tolerance in 24 normal volunteers. After seven days of thrice-daily administration, researchers found the compound well tolerated, and plan to initiate a pilot Phase II study of the compound in diseased patients.

¿GenMatrix.com, of Oakland, Calif., launched its AnalyGen integrated suite of bioinformatics web tools accessible at www.genmatrix.com. The suite includes tools for genomic DNA analysis, open reading frames identification, restriction enzyme analysis, gene expression optimization and PCR primer design.

¿The SNP Consortium, of Chicago, released into the public domain 194,271 single nucleotide polymorphisms, the largest single release of newly mapped and identified SNPs to date. The move brings the total number of SNPs released by the consortium to 296,990.

¿MGI Pharma Inc., of Minneapolis, said partner Pharmacia Corp., of Peapack, N.J., was granted FDA approval for the sulfasalazine delayed-release tablet, Azulfidine EN-tabs, for treatment of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis in children ages 6 to 16 with more than five diseased joints who haven't responded adequately to salicylates or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories. MGI Pharma will co-promote the product.

¿Pharmacopeia Inc., of Princeton, N.J., said Hyseq Inc., of Sunnyvale, Calif., and Cytoclonal Pharmaceutics Inc., of Dallas, joined the Molecular Simulations Inc. Functional Genomics Consortium, which was set up to deliver automated technology for high-throughput protein function assignment and annotation. Pharmacopeia purchased the remainder of MSI from its Japanese partners earlier this year. (See BioWorld Today, March 29, 2000, p. 1.)

¿Spotfire Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., said Eli Lilly and Co., of Indianapolis, will implement Spotfire.net decision analytics software at Eli Lilly research and development facilities. Spotfire also said it entered a partnership with Advanced Chemistry Development Inc., of Toronto, to integrate components of ACD's suite of proprietary prediction and experimental data management software with Spotfire.net.

¿Theratechnologies Inc., of Saint-Laurent, Quebec, filed an investigational new drug application with the Health Protection Branch in Ottawa for permission to begin a Phase II clinical trial of ThGRF 1-44, a growth hormone-releasing factor analogue, in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The multicenter, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study will assess safety and efficacy in 90 patients with endpoints that include increased muscle mass and function, increased physical endurance and respiratory function.

¿TimeLogic Corp., of Incline Village, Nev., and CuraGen Corp., of New Haven, Conn., said they are completing the largest single-site installation of TimeLogic's DeCypher system, a parallel-processing technology platform for accelerating genomic analysis. The system at CuraGen is the world's fastest single-site DeCypher accelerated bioinformatics computer installation.

¿University of Pittsburgh researchers presented data at the XVIII International Congress of the Transplantation Society that indicated that an aerosol delivery system for the anti-rejection drug cyclosporine can hinder the pumping mechanism a cell uses to evacuate undesirables, including drugs. The findings show promise for avoiding continuously increasing dosages for anti-rejection drugs.

¿Vical Inc., of San Diego, began a clinical trial in collaboration with Aventis Pasteur, of Frankfurt, Germany, and the U.S. Navy of the safety, immunogenicity and protective efficacy of a multigene DNA vaccine against the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. The vaccine, MuStDO 5, incorporates five genes designed to cause production of Plasmodium falciparum immunogens.

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