¿ Ariad Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., said researchers discovered a new mechanism for protein transport within cells. The study, published in the August 4, 2000, edition of Cell, used Ariad's Regulated Accumulation of Proteins for Immediate Delivery (RAPID) technology to demonstrate that proteins can be transported within cells in large groups called "megavesicles."

¿ Axcan Pharma Inc., of Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, said it entered into an exclusive development and supply agreement with Diomed Inc., of Andover, Mass., for the delivery of lasers used in Axcan's photosensitizing cancer treatment Photofrin. Diomed recently gained FDA clearance for the laser. Axcan will pay a $5 million milestone associated with FDA laser clearance to Photofrin licenser QLT Inc., of Vancouver, British Columbia. (See BioWorld Today, May 2, 2000, p. 1.)

¿ Genta Inc., of Lexington, Mass., said the FDA has designated its lead anticancer compound, Genasense, an orphan drug. Genta is enrolling patients in a Phase III trial of Genasense, which seeks to disable the Bcl-2 protein, which is believed to be critical to survival of cancerous cells.

¿ Lexicon Genetics Inc., of The Woodlands, Texas, is one of nine companies for which The American Stock Exchange will offer trade in stock options beginning Aug. 10. Initial expirations will be September, October, January and April. Cranmer & Cranmer Inc. will be the specialist handling the options offering.

¿ MediChem Inc., of Lemont, Ill., said it will renew its February 1998 research and development collaboration with AstraZeneca for an additional 12 months. MediChem is providing synthetic libraries to the pharmaceutical company. Financial terms of the deal were undisclosed.

¿Pharmacia Corp., of Peapack, N.J., said the FDA approved a once-daily dosing regimen for Fragmin, a low molecular weight heparin, for use as an anti-clotting agent in deep-vein thrombosis treatment following hip replacement surgery. The approval was based on a multicenter, double-blind, randomized study that showed higher effectiveness than warfarin, the standard treatment.

¿ SciClone Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Mateo, Calif., said its immunotherapeutic Zadaxin received expanded marketing approval in Argentina for the treatment of hepatitis B and C. Zadaxin has been approved in 20 countries, though not in the U.S., and the company said it plans to pursue approval for hepatitis B and C indications in Italy, Mexico and South Korea. The company said it plans to begin Phase III Zadaxin trials for hepatitis C in the U.S. by the end of the year.

¿ StemCells Inc., of Sunnyvale, Calif., said it raised $4 million for research funding through the sale of common stock in a private financing led by an undisclosed investment fund. The company, formerly CytoTherapeutics Inc., focuses on the discovery and marketing of stem cell-based therapies for nervous system, liver and pancreatic diseases.

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