¿ AlphaOne Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Alameda, Calif., signed an agreement with the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute to commercialize the tumor-suppressor gene for maspin, a serine protease inhibitor.

¿ American Biogenetic Sciences Inc., of Copiague, N.Y., has moved from the over-the-counter bulletin board to the Nasdaq SmallCap Market. Shares continue to trade under the symbol MABA.

¿ Antex Biologics, of Gaithersburg, Md., will perform a reverse stock split (1-for-5) July 20. The company's stock trades on the over-the-counter bulletin board under the symbol ANTX.

¿ Antisoma plc, of London, will resume enrollment of new patients in the Phase III pivotal trial of Theragyn, a radiolabeled monoclonal antibody for ovarian cancer. Enrollment was delayed in May, pending assessment of data presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting for a similar product. That data, published as ASCO abstract No. 1514, suggested a survival advantage for the control group. Resumption of the Theragyn trial follows independent assessments under the auspices of the Imperial Cancer Research Fund.

¿ AVI BioPharma Inc., of Portland, Ore., and Lorus Therapeutics Corp., of Toronto, entered a five-year agreement to evaluate and co-develop antisense drugs for cancer and infectious diseases. Each company will retain an ownership interest in any jointly developed compound, and drugs discovered together also may be developed independently with royalty payments to the other party. AVI will contribute its Neugene-based antisense backbone, while Lorus will add a series of proprietary cancer and infectious disease targets, and will perform molecular, cell and animal biology experiments. AVI entered the agreement through Lorus' wholly owned subsidiary, GeneSense Technologies Inc.

¿ Avigen Inc., of Alameda, Calif., granted Stratagene, of La Jolla, Calif., worldwide rights to sell kits for making Avigen's proprietary recombinant adeno-associated virus vectors for research purposes. Avigen will receive an up-front payment and royalties on sales of the kits and other products developed by Stratagene using Avigen's AAV technology.

¿ Cambridge NeuroScience Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., exercised an option to license exclusive rights from Harvard University to a growth factor with potential applications in the treatment of nervous system disorders. The growth factor is called Neuregulin-2 (cerebellum-derived growth factor) and was discovered at Harvard by Han Chang. The company received a $100,000 Phase I Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Institutes of Health to support continuing development of Neuregulin-2.

¿ Derma Sciences Inc., of Princeton, N.J., said its common stock will continue to be listed on the Nasdaq SmallCap Market via temporary exceptions from Nasdaq's net tangible assets and minimum bid price requirements. Nasdaq is giving the company until July 17 to satisfy the requirements by achieving a minimum of $2.5 million in net tangible assets. Nasdaq also is giving the company until Sept. 15 to achieve a minimum closing bid price of at least $1.

¿ Genta Inc., of Lexington, launched two additional trials of the antisense drug Genasense for treatment of advanced prostate cancer. Both trials use Genta's lead compound, which targets expression of Bcl-2, in combination with Taxotere (docetaxel).

¿ La Jolla Pharmaceutical Co., of San Diego, has identified a promising drug candidate to treat antibody-mediated thrombosis, a life-threatening blood-clotting disorder. Based on positive preclinical results in animals, including primates, the company plans further toxicology studies, and expects to file an investigational new drug application for the product, LJP 1082, in the first half of 2001.

¿ Northwest Biotherapeutics Inc., of Seattle, exercised an option for an exclusive worldwide license from the University of California for a tumor-specific kidney cancer antigen to be used with the company's dendritic cell-based immunotherapy for cancer. Arie Belldegrun and Cho-Lea Tso at the University of California, Los Angeles, developed the technology.

¿ PathoGenesis Corp., of Seattle, initiated enrollment in a Phase I open-label randomized study of TOBI (tobramycin solution for inhalation) using an inhaler developed by AeroGen Inc., of Sunnyvale, Calif. TOBI already is FDA-approved for cystic fibrosis patients with Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections, but PathoGenesis is aiming to shorten treatment time and improve convenience and compliance with the new inhaler.

¿ Protein Design Labs Inc., of Fremont, Calif., said its board approved a 2-for-1 stock split. Each stockholder of record at the close of business Aug. 1 will received one additional share for each one held. The stock dividend resulting from the split is expected to be distributed Aug. 22. The company had 20 million shares outstanding as of June 30.

¿ The Frank Russell Company, of Tacoma, Wash., added several biotech companies to its Russell 2000 and Russell 3000 indexes, which track the top 2000 and 3000 U.S. companies (based on market capitalization). Among the new additions to the Russell 2000 list were Aurora Biosciences Corp., of San Diego, and Ilex Oncology Inc., of San Antonio. Paradigm Genetics Inc., of Research Triangle Park, N.C.; NPS Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Salt Lake City; Neose Technologies Inc., of Horsham, Pa.; and Techniclone Corp. were added to Russell 3000.

¿ Theratechnologies, of Saint-Laurent, Quebec, raised an additional C$3.16 million (US$2.13 million) through the underwriters' exercise of an overallotment option from a May public offering. The exercise brings the offering's tally to C$24.2 million (US$16.4 million).

¿ Third Wave Technologies Inc., of Madison, Wis., said a study comparing the company's Invader technology to polymerase chain reaction found that Invader may significantly reduce the cost and complications of performing genetic analysis. The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

¿ Xenogen Corp., of Alameda, Calif., has generated several strains of light-emitting Gram-positive Staphylococcus aureus bacteria that allow for in vivo imaging analysis of new drugs that aim to treat bacterial infections. The patented process is described in a study published in Infection and Immunity.

No Comments