¿Abbott Laboratories, of Abbott Park, Ill., filed motions in Boston's U.S. District Court to dismiss counterclaims from defendants in the company's patent infringement suit over Kringle 5, a cancer research discovery. In late May, Abbott initiated the suit against EntreMed Inc., of Rockville, Md., Children's Medical Corp., of Boston, and certain researchers.

¿Ariad Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., said in a paper published in the Aug. 15, 2000, issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that it developed a novel class of small-molecule drugs that block the bone breakdown that causes osteoporosis. One such drug is the first to inhibit the Src tyrosine kinase.

¿Avanir Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Diego, said it formed Xenerex Biosciences as a wholly owned subsidiary to commercialize monoclonal antibody technology. Xenerex technology is expected to produce human monoclonal antibodies identical to antibodies isolated from humans using immune-system deficient mice.

¿Epimmune Inc., of San Diego, received a $3.8 million grant from the Integrated Preclinical/Clinical Program of the National Institutes of Health, Division of AIDS, for a four-year program to evaluate epitope-based vaccines as a therapeutic strategy for HIV-1-infected individuals on highly active anti-retroviral therapy.

¿ID Biomedical Corp., of Vancouver, said it is disputing a legal filing of Third Wave Technologies Inc. asserting that ID's patents for Cycling Probe Technology are invalid and not infringed by any Third Wave products. Third Wave, of Madison, Wis., filed a declaratory judgment action in the Western District of Wisconsin.

¿Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Diego, said a follow-up study of Targretin capsules in combination with chemotherapy suggested an increased survival rate among patients with non-small-cell lung cancer. The results complement a Phase I/II trial of the compound with a cisplatin-based chemotherapy regimen that showed a 25 percent response rate. Ligand said the results are sufficient to warrant dialogue with the FDA on the design of a Phase II study to conclusively demonstrate increased survivability.

¿Mertz & Co. Inc., of Frankfurt, Germany, and Lundbeck A/S, of Copenhagen, Denmark, said they have entered a licensing and cooperation agreement for the marketing of Mertz's memantine for Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia, neuropathic pain and other central nervous system indications. Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.

¿Neurobiological Technologies Inc., of Richmond, Calif., said it signed an option to negotiate the exclusive rights to patents covering corticotropin-releasing hormone analogues from the University of California, Berkeley. NTI holds orphan drug designation for a synthetic corticotropin-releasing hormone, Xerecept, and believes it could reduce brain swelling in peritumoral brain edemas. NTI will screen the CRH analogues from Berkeley in vivo to optimize them for clinical purposes.

¿Pharmasset Inc., of Atlanta, received a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research Grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for development of novel cofactor analogues as immunosuppressants. The work has applications in the field of organ transplantation.

¿Trega Biosciences Inc., of San Diego, said it launched an expanded version of its iDEA predictive model for drug absorption that uses data from in vitro studies with Caco-2 cells, a cell line widely used as a surrogate to measure intestinal drug transport. By year's end Trega said it will introduce a metabolism model, and the company intends to develop subsequent models that will enable the complete prediction of bioavailibility.

¿Tularik Inc., of South San Francisco, initiated a Phase I trial in the UK of T902611, an oral anti-cytomegalovirus drug candidate.

¿Unigene Laboratories Inc., of Fairfield, N.J., said it received a pre-approval letter indicating the Swiss government will approve Unigene's application to market its injectable recombinant calcitonin product, Forcaltonin. Indications could include osteoporosis, Paget's disease and hypercalcemia.

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