¿ American Biogenetic Sciences Inc., of Copiague, N.Y., has decided to accelerate development of ABS-205, a cognition enhancer for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. Near-term efforts will focus on synthesis and evaluation of optical isomers of ABS-205. The company successfully used this technique in the chiral separation of ABS103R, a neurological compound licensed to Abbott Laboratories, of Abbott Park, Ill.
¿ Atrix Laboratories, of Fort Collins, Colo., reported additional positive data for Atridox, a sustained-released formulation of doxycline that is approved in the UK and U.S. for periodontal disease. When used as part of routine teeth-cleaning procedures it was substantially faster and easier than thorough scaling and root planing accompanied by local anesthesia - the traditional mechanical procedure for removing disease-related plaque. Effectiveness was statistically superior.
¿ CytoGenix Inc., of Houston, signed a sponsored research agreement with the Baylor College of Medicine at the Texas Medical Center in Houston, which will use the company's enzymatic method of synthesizing single-stranded NDA to develop antisense strategies against intracellular adhesion molecules. The collaboration aims to identify products that will reduce lung inflammation and injury.
¿ Ergo Science Corp., of Boston, said its president and CEO, David Burt, has taken on the additional responsibility of president and CEO of NAHC Inc., formerly NovaCare Inc. He will split his time equally between Ergo Science and NAHC, which is based in King of Prussia, Pa.
¿ Exact Laboratories, of Maynard, Mass., said it received certification under the Federal Clinical Laboratories Improvement Amendment of 1988 for high-complexity laboratory testing. The company successfully passed an inspection to receive the laboratory certification with no deficiencies. The certification is applicable for two years.
¿ Genomic Solutions Inc., of Ann Arbor, Mich., grossed an additional $5.28 million from its early May initial public offering through the exercise of the underwriters' overallotment option for 660,000 shares. The final numbers are 7,660,000 shares at $8, for a total of $61.28 million. (See BioWorld Today, May 8, 2000, p. 1.)
¿ Genta Inc., of Lexington, Mass., licensed a portfolio of antisense technology and patents on a royalty-free basis from Molecular Biosystems Inc., of San Diego, which received cash and shares of Genta stock. The intellectual property spans almost two decades of research, with fundamental claims related to methods, compositions and processes for in vitro and in vivo inhibition of protein synthesis by antisense oligonucleotides. Molecular Biosystems said it "has formally committed to a different research and development path."
¿ IGT Pharma Inc., of Vancouver, British Columbia, said its lead underwriter in a recent $6 million financing, Dominick and Dominick Securities Inc., of Toronto, formed a syndicate with Pacific International Securities Inc. and Salman Partners Inc., both of Vancouver. Each firm employs a biotech analyst with knowledge of the sector, IGT said.
¿ Immunomedics Inc., of Morris Plains, N.J., reported results from ongoing Phase II studies using the CEA-Cide monoclonal antibody radiolabeled with iodine-131 for the treatment of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer who failed or were intolerant to prior chemotherapy. Eight of nine patients (89 percent) who had liver metastases surgically removed and were at high risk for recurrence have remained disease-free for more than 15 months. CEA-Cide is a humanized antibody against carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), which is produced by colorectal and other cancer types.
¿ Inflazyme Pharmaceuticals Ltd., of Vancouver, closed on a private placement of C$12 million (US$8.13 million) with International Biotechnology Trust plc, a fund managed by Rothschild Asset Management, of London. IBT purchased 3,883,495 shares of Inflazyme at C$3.09 (US$2.09) per share. Inflazyme targets inflammatory diseases and has taken one product (IPL576,092, for asthma and respiratory diseases) into the clinic, with another (IPL4323) nearing clinical testing for psoriasis and prevention of transplant rejection.
¿ Millennium Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., and Biacore International AB, of Uppsala, Sweden, signed a three-year agreement to co-develop a new generation of surface plasmon resonance (SPR) array chip technology for use in drug discovery. The products are aimed at alleviating bottlenecks in the current drug-discovery process by doing several things: characterizing novel proteins for suitability as drug targets; identifying ligands or substrates for novel proteins using function-blind screening assays; mapping pathways by higher-throughput detection and measurement of protein-protein interactions; and performing high-throughput characterization of potential lead compounds.
¿ NitroMed Inc., of Bedford, Mass., used infrared imaging to demonstrate that its nitric oxide product, NMI-921, enhanced blood flow in a preclinical model of female sexual dysfunction. The company presented the findings in Boston at the joint meeting of the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics and the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
¿ OraSense Ltd., of Carlsbad, Calif., demonstrated in a Phase I study that an oral formulation of antisense drugs for humans is achievable. Based on this proof of concept, the company will move into development of an oral solid formulation of ISIS 104838, a second-generation antisense inhibitor of TNF-alpha for rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn's disease. OraSense is a joint venture of Dublin, Ireland-based Elan Corp. plc and Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Carlsbad. (See BioWorld Today, April 14, 1999, p. 1.)
¿ Palatin Technologies Inc., of Princeton, N.J., and Mallinckrodt Inc., of St. Louis, said they reached two major milestones in the development of LeuTech, Palatin's monoclonal antibody for imaging infection sites. Results of the Phase III trial of LeuTech were presented at the Society of Nuclear Medicine conference. The open-label trial, which included more than 200 patients who presented to emergency departments with equivocal appendicitis, showed that LeuTech allows the surgeon to rapidly diagnose appendicitis and begin treatment. The companies have scheduled an FDA advisory panel meeting on July 10.
¿ PathoGenesis Corp., of Seattle, has engaged Goldman, Sachs & Co., of New York, and other advisers to explore strategic options. The company is well capitalized and "on track to meet Wall Street analysts' current range of expectations for 2000," said Wilbur Gantz, chairman and CEO. However, the company may need to make a move to reach the "next level," he said.
¿ Ribozyme Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Boulder, Colo., has discovered a new ribozyme motif that is nuclease stable and works at low magnesium concentrations. Dubbed Zinzyme, the motif has been used to generate Herzyme, now in preclinical studies as an anti-HER2 therapy for breast and ovarian cancers.
¿ SafeScience Inc., of Boston, said its former chairman and CEO, David Platt, agreed to not sell his stock until June 29, 2002, except as part of an underwritten public offering of the company's common stock for which he has been granted registration rights. The company also said the first patient has been treated in a Phase II trial of GBC-590 in patients with colorectal carcinoma. The trial is to determine safety and efficacy of GBC-590 in patients with refractory colorectal carcinoma who have failed no more than two prior regimens of chemotherapy.
¿ Serono Inc., of Norwell, Mass., won FDA approval for Gonal-F (follitropin alfa for injection) for treating infertility in women and men. The male approval makes Gonal-F the first recombinant gonadotropin to be approved for treating male infertility in the U.S. It was approved for women in 1997.
¿ Shearwater Polymers Inc., of Huntsville, Ala., received a $1 million milestone payment from partner F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd., of Basel, Switzerland. The pharmaceutical company last month filed a new drug application with the FDA for Pegasys (peginterferon alfa-2a), made using a pegylation technology licensed from Shearwater. If approved, Pegasys will be marketed for treatment of chronic hepatitis C in non-cirrhotic and cirrhotic patients with compensated liver disease. (See BioWorld Today, May 23, 2000, p. 7.)
¿ The American Stock Exchange, of New York, said it will launch trading in options on the Nasdaq National Market-listed Cell Therapeutics Inc., of Seattle. The options will open with strike prices of $15 to $17.50 to $20 and position limits of 31,500 contracts. The options will trade on the March expiration cycle, with initial expirations in July, August, September and December.