¿ AltaRex Corp., of Waltham, Mass., closed on its previously announced C$7.8 million (US$5.2 million) share offering. It sold 9.2 million shares at C$0.85 each. Proceeds will be used to further OvaRex MAb development.

¿ Avanir Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Diego, said it completed an agreement with Irisys Research and Development Inc., of San Diego, for exclusive worldwide marketing rights for a new formulation of dextromethorphan, which is designed to treat several disorders including emotional lability, neuropathic pain and chronic cough. The FDA has accepted an investigational new drug application for the product, and Avanir plans Phase II/III studies to assess the drug's efficacy in reducing the loss of emotional control in patients with neurodegenerative diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Lou Gehrig's disease and Alzheimer's disease.

¿ Aviron, of Mountain View, Calif., sold 262,200 common shares at $30.51 per share to Acqua Wellington Assett Management LLC in a financing that raised $8 million. Some of the proceeds are expected to help fund regulatory, manufacturing and commercialization aspects for FluMist, as well as development of a second generation of FluMist and other pipeline products.

¿ Biomira Inc., of Edmonton, Alberta, said it initiated a multicenter Phase IIb trial of BLP25, the company's anticancer vaccine. BLP25 encapsulates a synthetic 25-amino-acid sequence of the MUC-1 cancer mucin in a synthetic liposomal delivery system. The treatment is designed to enhance immune system recognition of the cancer antigen and induce an immune response to the cancer cells.

¿ CollaGenex Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Newtown, Pa., said it has agreed to an exclusive Japanese marketing and supply license for Periostat, an enzyme-inhibiting treatment for periodontal disease, with Sowa Yakin Kako Co. Ltd., of Japan. Financial terms were not disclosed, although the company said Sowa Yakin Kako will pay milestones associated with development of the drug in Japan, coordinate clinical and regulatory development of the drug in Japan and either purchase the drug from CollaGenex or develop its own manufacturing capability for the drug, paying royalties on net sales to CollaGenex in that case.

¿ Direct Therapeutics Inc., of Redwood City, Calif., said the FDA granted orphan drug status to DTI-015, the company's brain cancer treatment. DTI-015 attacks glioblastoma multiforme using the chemotherapeutic drug carmustine dissolved in absolute ethanol injected directly into the tumor.

¿ Genelabs Technologies Inc., of Redwood City, Calif., said it sold 779,271 shares of its common stock to Acqua Wellington North American Equities Fund Ltd. at a price of 3.99 per share for total proceeds of $3.11 million. The buy is part of a deal struck in July that could net Genelabs $29 million over an 18-month period. (See BioWorld Today, July 12, 2000, p. 1.)

¿ Genzyme Surgical Products Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., said it launched three products for the cardiothoracic surgery market: the Immobilizer System, a beating heart surgery platform; Saph-LITE, a saphenous vein harvesting system for use during cardiac bypass surgery; and FocalSeal-L, a surgical sealant.

¿ Labopharm Inc., of Laval, Quebec, said it signed a formulation and feasibility agreement with Aventis Pharmaceuticals, of Parsippany, N.J., that could preface a licensing agreement allowing Aventis an exclusive license for the newly formulated products. Under the terms of the agreement, Labopharm will receive payment for the feasibility study, formulation work and a pharmacokinetic study, as well as a success fee for applying its time-release technology, Contramid, to two unnamed Aventis products.

¿ NexMed Inc., of Robbinsville, N.J., completed a second closing in a private placement disclosed last week, raising an additional $10.17 million. The company, which is developing topically applied treatments for sexual dysfunction, sold 1.13 million shares pursuant to a unit purchase agreement. Investors paid $18 per unit and received two shares and a 18-month warrant to purchase one additional share at $16.20.

¿ Pharmacopeia Inc., of Princeton, N.J., said it signed an agreement to acquire Oxford Medical Group plc, of London, software subsidiaries. The software business generated $15 million in revenue in 1999, and should provide Pharmacopeia with bioinformatics and cheminformatics products, as well as complementing Pharmacopeia's existing chemical database tools.

¿ Pharsight Corp., of Mountain View, Calif., priced its initial public offering of 3 million shares at $10 per share, grossing $10 million. Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, Chase H&Q and Wit SoundView are managing the offering. The company offers products and services related to the drug development process.

¿ Theratechnologies Inc., of Saint-Laurent, Quebec, said it filed an application with Canada's Health Protection Branch to begin clinical evaluation of Theralux, an ex vivo photodynamic cell therapy system in patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. The 28-patient trial will be conducted at Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital in Montreal. Theralux treatment is designed to eradicate cancerous cells in blood ex vivo, using the photosensitive molecule TH 9402 and a light source developed by the company.

¿ Valentis Inc., of Burlingame, Calif., said it launched a web site promoting it's gene regulation technology, GeneSwitch. The site, www.geneswitch.com, will include scientific information concerning regulation of genes in functional genomics studies, regulation of transiently expressed proteins in cell biology experiments and GeneSwitch's use as a regulator for clinical gene medications.

¿ Vion Pharmaceuticals Inc., of New Haven, Conn., said the National Cancer Institute awarded the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Vion a $141,000 research contract to study Vion's TAPET bacterial vector technology for diagnostic imaging of tumors. Tumor Amplified Protein Expression Therapy has demonstrated in preclinical trials to accumulate preferentially in tumors. The study is designed to find what biologic features in tumors the bacteria prefer.

¿ Zarix Inc., of Berwyn, Pa., said the FDA has indicated that the proposed design for the pivotal Phase III trial for Thymitaq, the company's treatment for unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma, is acceptable. Zarix said it expects enrollment for the trial to be completed within 18 months, and it expects the trial to be complete in 24 months.

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