¿ Affymetrix Inc., of Santa Clara, Calif., said Deltagen Inc., of Menlo Park, Calif., will use the GeneChip probe arrays to build and commercialize DeltaXpress databases of gene expression information using Deltagen's knockout mouse models. Deltagen plans to market the databases to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to assist them in leveraging genomics advances into new medicines. Under the agreement, Deltagen will pay Affymetrix annual subscription fees, pay for probe arrays, related instrumentation and software, and pay royalties to Affymetrix on database subscription fees.
¿ Biopure Corp., of Cambridge, Mass., said the pivotal Phase III trial of Hemopure has enrolled more than the 640 patients specified by the study protocol and is continuing to enroll additional patients. The single-blind trial is evaluating the company's therapeutic as a room temperature, stable, universally compatible alternative to red blood cell transfusion in orthopedic surgery patients in the U.S., Europe, Canada and South Africa. Expansion of the enrollment is expected to extend for several months Biopure's schedule for filing a U.S. marketing application.
¿ Ceres Inc., of Los Angeles, and Keygene N.V., of Wageningen, the Netherlands, said they completed a collaborative program to generate a comprehensive database of plant gene expression patterns. Keygene applied its amplified fragment-length polymorphisms (AFLP) technology to quantify gene expression levels in plant organs. Ceres used high-throughput sequencing to characterize the large number of AFLP fragments. The two companies then created an expression database covering about 90 percent of all genes expressed in Arabidopsis thaliana.
¿ Chiron Corp., of Emeryville, Calif., said it entered into a co-marketing and co-promotion agreement with Aventis Pasteur MSD, a subsidiary of Aventis SA, of Frankfurt, Germany, supporting Chiron's meningococcal C vaccine Menjugate and adjuvanted influenza vaccine Fluad in Europe. Aventis Pasteur will assist Chiron in marketing and sales efforts of Menjugate in the UK and Ireland, and it will distribute, market and sell it under its own label in the rest of Europe. Menjugate was approved in the UK in March. Aventis Pasteur also will co-promote and co-market Fluad in Europe. The vaccine was approved in 12 European nations in April.
¿ Cubist Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., and Alliance Pharmaceutical Corp., of San Diego, said they were added to the Russell 2000 Index. Alliance also was added to the Russell 3000 Index. The Russell 3000 Index measures the performance of the top 3,000 companies based on total market capitalization. The Russell 2000 Index is comprised of small-cap companies from the Russell 3000 Index.
¿ Evotec BioSystems AG, of Hamburg, Germany, said it achieved a milestone in the development of the EVOscreen Mark II system, an automated microliter miniaturized system designed for ultra-high-throughput screening. The system is operational and has passed the site acceptance tests at Evotec's pharmaceutical partners.
¿ Neurobiological Technologies Inc., of Richmond, Calif., said a Phase III trial of Memantine being tested in about 250 Alzheimer's patients showed promising results. In the six-month study, patients received either 10 mg of Memantine twice daily or placebo. The drug produced statistically significant results vs. placebo in clinical global change, function and cognition. Results indicated the decline in various endpoints was consistently smaller for the Memantine treatment group, although both groups worsened during the 28-week period. That means the drug cannot reverse the disease process, but can reduce the amount of clinical decline over a six-month period, the company said. Efficacy endpoints included the clinician's interview-based impression of change, activities of daily living and cognitive performance. The data were presented Friday at the World Alzheimer Congress 2000 in Washington. The company previously announced the data were positive. (See BioWorld Today, Feb. 23, 2000, p. 1.)
¿ Orchid BioSciences Inc., of Princeton, N.J., and The SNP Consortium Ltd., of Chicago, said they entered into an agreement under which Orchid will determine the allelic frequency of 60,000 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genomic markers in diverse populations. The work will be done at Orchid's MegaSNPatron service facility in Princeton using its SNP-IT primer extension technology. The agreement follows a collaboration last year between the two parties to assay and confirm the authenticity and location of selected SNPs.
¿ The Immune Response Corp., of Carlsbad, Calif., said Phase II follow-up data of Remune found that patients treated with the drug had significantly higher CD4 counts, compared to the placebo group at the end of the 40-week placebo-controlled trial. The increase in CD4 cells was associated with increased immune activity against the virus. The open-label extension study offered continued Remune treatments every 12 weeks without concomitant antiviral drug therapy. The preliminary results were presented at the 13th International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa.
¿ The National Institutes of Health (NIH), of Bethesda, Md., said studies of the reproductive behavior of a major disease-causing fungus have opened new avenues of understanding the potentially deadly microbe. In Science, University of Minnesota researchers report the discovery of mating behavior in the yeast Candida albicans, a common cause of thrush that can infect the skin, mucous membranes and blood. The discovery promises to accelerate research into the fungus and enable researchers to more quickly understand its biology and identify new drug targets. The NIH also said that 10 research centers will soon begin testing a technique for transplanting insulin-producing pancreas cells that may one day allow people with Type I diabetes to stop their insulin shots. It is the first technique to be carried out in the $144 million Immune Tolerance Network, a consortium of clinical researchers dedicated to developing approaches to induce immune tolerance.
¿ Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., said its board approved a 2-for-1 stock split of its common stock. It will be in the form of a stock dividend, and new shares will be distributed on Aug. 23 to holders of record as of the close of business on Aug. 9. The split will increase the number of shares outstanding from about 26.7 million to about 53.4 million.