¿ AMBI Inc., of Purchase, N.Y., said it licensed rights to nisin and lysostaphin antibacterial technologies to Biosynexus Inc., of Rockville, Md., effectively exiting the biotech market by out-licensing its last products. Biosynexus will immediately pay AMBI $1.4 million for the technology, and the agreement includes milestone payments up to $14 million, royalties upon commercialization of the products, warrants for the purchase of Biosynexus shares and future consideration contingent upon third-party licensing agreements Biosynexus could enter. AMBI also has licensed nisin and lysostaphin technology to ImmuCell Inc., of Portland, Maine, for antibacterial use in animals. The company said the move will cut expenses and risk and allow it to focus on its nutrition products.

¿ Aquasearch Inc., of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, said it completed its first collaborative compound library for drug discovery, a novel set of compounds derived from the microalgae molecule astaxanthin. The National Cancer Institute will screen the library for anticancer uses in 60 human tumor samples, including screening for activity against lung, colon, prostate, ovarian, breast and kidney cancers.

¿ Biomatrix Inc., of Ridgefield, N.J., said a New Jersey Superior Court judge ruled in Biomatrix's favor on a request for summary judgment in its libel lawsuit, finding three defendants liable for defamation. Raymond and Richard Constanzo and Ephraim Morris were found guilty of authoring libelous statements in connection with repeated postings on a variety of Internet message boards, including a Yahoo message board.

¿ Cell Pathways Inc., of Horsham, Pa., said it has completed Phase Ib clinical testing on its selective apoptotic antineoplastic drug CP461, which is being developed for cancer applications. The oral product was well tolerated, and the company plans to begin enrollment for Phase II testing as early as the fourth quarter of this year.

¿ Cyberonics Inc., of Houston, said it enrolled the first patient in a pilot study of the company's Vagus Nerve Stimulation system for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. A 78-year-old woman, the first of 10 patients, received the NeuroCybernetic Prosthesis implant at the Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg, Sweden.

¿ Genzyme Molecular Oncology, of Framingham, Mass., said it entered three license agreements granting non-exclusive access to cancer diagnostic patent rights associated with the MSH2, APC and p53 genes. LabCorp., of Burlington, N.C., and City of Hope Cancer Center, of Duarte, Calif., licensed colon cancer diagnostic rights to the APC and/or MSH2 genes for use in diagnostic testing services. CDT Testing Inc. licensed similar rights to test for mutations in the p53 gene, believed to be mutated in half to three-quarters of all cancers. The agreements entitle Genzyme to an up-front licensing fee from each of the companies and royalties tied to each diagnostic test the companies perform.

¿ InterMune Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Burlingame, Calif., licensed exclusive Japanese commercialization rights for Actimmune from Genentech Inc., of South San Francisco. InterMune currently markets Actimmune in the U.S. for reducing the severity and frequency of infection in connection with chronic granulomatous disease.

¿ Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Carlsbad, Calif., said the company's GenTrove division began a fourth antisense target validation collaboration, this one with The R.W. Johnson Pharmaceutical Research Institute, a Johnson & Johnson company, to assess and prioritize genes as drug discovery targets. The company's proprietary antisense technology specifically inhibits gene expression. Terms were not disclosed.

¿ MGI Pharma Inc., of Minneapolis, and MethylGene Inc., of Montreal, said they entered a North American licensing, research and development agreement for MG98, a second-generation mRNA inhibitor, and novel small-molecule DNA methyltransferase inhibitors. MG98 has shown promise as an anticancer treatment in ongoing Phase I trials, MGI said. Overexpression of DNA methyltransferase results in chemical modification of tumor suppressor genes, allowing rampant tumor cell growth.

¿ Neuro-Biotech Corp., of Sainte-Foy, Quebec, said it filed an initial registration statement with the SEC, and will begin filing periodic reports with that agency. The company has 26 million shares outstanding on the Canadian Dealing Network under the symbol "NBIO."

¿ Panacea Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Rockville, Md., said it closed its initial round of financing and began its Series A offering with Borbeck Phleger & Harrison LLP. The company has research alliances with Brown University/Rhode Island Hospital, Case Western Reserve University and Loyola Medical School. The undisclosed Series A financing will fund further research and development.

¿ Syn X Pharma Inc., of Toronto, said it has finalized terms of financing with Octagon Capital Corp. and Thompson Kernaghan & Co Ltd. The company's offering of 1.75 million special warrants will be priced at C$4 each, for a total of C$7 million (US$4.71 million). Syn X has 3.53 million shares outstanding and 3.71 million warrants outstanding. The private offering will close August 11.

¿ Syrrx Inc., of San Diego, said it raised more than $5 million through a Series A venture financing from companies including Bay City Capital, Chemical and Materials Enterprise Associates, MPM Asset Management and Versant Ventures. Separately, the company named former Parke-Davis executive Wendell Wierenga Syrrx its CEO.

¿ Xcyte Therapies Inc., of Seattle, said it began a clinical trial on its proprietary technology, Xcellerate, on patients with metastasized kidney cancer. The company uses its technology to activate and proliferate cancer patients' defective T cells ex vivo.

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