¿ Advanced Polymer Systems Inc., of Redwood City, Calif., sold its cosmeceutical product lines and technology rights for certain topical pharmaceuticals to R.P. Scherer Corp., a subsidiary of Cardinal Health Inc. Advanced Polymer received $25 million up front and could receive another $26.5 million in milestones. The sale includes the Microsponge and Polytrap technologies for delivery of drugs to the skin.

¿ Antex Biologics, of Gaithersburg, Md., began a Phase Ib/II clinical trial of Helivax, an orally administered vaccine against Helicobacter pylori.

¿ Aurora Biosciences Corp., of San Diego, said the second module of its ultra-high-throughput screening system has been installed, validated and accepted at the Merck & Co. Inc. research facility in West Point, Pa.

¿ Coulter Pharmaceutical Inc., of South San Francisco, and SmithKline Beecham, of Philadelphia, started a Phase II multicenter trial of Bexxar, a radiolabeled monoclonal antibody, in combination with chemotherapy for the treatment of patients with intermediate-grade non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. The companies are preparing a biologics license application for an approval Bexxar as a single agent for relapsed or refractory, low-grade or transformed low-grade NHL.

¿ Genome Therapeutics Corp., of Waltham, Mass., and Schering-Plough Corp., of Madison, N.J., extended their alliance to Sept. 30, 2001, to identify and develop novel anti-infectives for drug-resistant bacteria. The potential $43.5 million alliance, signed in 1995, has achieved five milestones since its formation. Genome Therapeutics' stock (NASDAQ:GENE) gained 14 percent Wednesday to close at $23.

¿ Procyon BioPharma Inc., of Montreal, next week will receive the 75 percent of gross proceeds from an April private placement that was put into escrow (see BioWorld Today, April 13, 2000). The release of funds from the C$20.4 million (US$13.9 million) financing follows the company's receipt for a final prospectus for the 7.8 million shares and 3.9 million common share purchase warrants issued in the transaction.

¿ StressGen Biotechnologies, of Victoria, British Columbia, reported positive preliminary results from an open-label portion of a Phase II trial of HspE7 as a treatment for anal dysplasia related to human papilloma virus. The data were presented at the 18th International Papillomavirus Conference in Barcelona.

¿ Structural GenomiX, of San Diego, is initiating construction of a dual undulator beamline facility at the Advanced Photon Source at the U.S. Department of Energy in Argonne, Ill. The facility is expected to be ready for use in 2001 and will provide Structural GenomiX with access to intense X-ray beams from the DOE-funded synchrotron radiation source.

¿ The Biotechnology Industry Organization, of Washington, lauded the dismissal in federal court of a Greenpeace lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency. Filed in 1997, the suit centered on alleged environmental effects of crops genetically engineered to express a Bacillus thuringiensis protein.

¿ Variagenics Inc., of Cambridge, Mass. said underwriters for its initial public offering exercised their overallotment option in full, purchasing 750,000 shares at $14 each, bringing total net proceeds to $75 million. Credit Suisse First Boston, Chase H&Q and SG Cowen underwrote the IPO. Variagenics uses single nucleotide polymorphisms and other genetic differences to improve and enhance existing drugs in development and to develop new drug targets. (See BioWorld Today, July 24, 2000, p. 1.)

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