¿ Antisoma plc, of London, has temporarily delayed recruitment into a Phase III pivotal trial of its lead cancer product, Theragyn, upon learning that in a study of a similar product there was a survival advantage favoring the control group. The Theragyn trial's independent safety committee, however, has "strongly recommended" recruitment continue. The company said it would "discuss the ISC recommendation with, and seek regulatory agreement from, the appropriate authorities when suitable."
¿ Boston Life Sciences Inc., of Boston, has found a new application for a nerve regenerative factor called Inosine: enhancement of functional recovery following stroke. The company will also continue to develop the product for functional recovery after spinal cord injury. Inosine could enter clinical trials in 2001.
¿ Centaur Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Sunnyvale, Calif., reported that NXY-059 was safe in a Phase IIa stroke trial at doses exceeding the highest dose tested in a rat model. In a related study, the product was highly effective in reducing neurological and neuropathological effects of a permanent stroke in a primate model. Both studies were presented at the 10th European Stroke Congress in Vienna, Austria. NXY-059 is licensed to AstraZeneca plc, of London.
¿ eBioinformatics, of Pleasanton, Calif., received a $3 million investment from International Biotechnology Trust plc, of London. The company provides bioinformatics services to academic researchers and biotechnology firms over the Internet using a pay-as-you-go access model.
¿ Immunex Corp., of Seattle, reported preliminary Phase II asthma data for Nuvance (soluble interleukin-4 receptor), described as the "first product of its kind to be evaluated in clinical trials," and reported that the program will progress. Nuvance improved lung function as measured daily by forced expiratory volume in one second. Patients with a marked FEV1 response enjoyed significant improvement in asthma symptoms. In a weekly measurement, however, there was a not a significant improvement in FEV1 vs. placebo. The company's stock (NASDAQ:IMNX) fell 15.5 percent Friday, or $4.625, to close at $25.062.
¿ Lexicon Genetics Inc., of The Woodlands, Texas, filed a patent infringement complaint against Deltagen Inc., of Menlo Park, Calif., in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware. Deltagen said it will "vigorously" defend itself, said CEO William Matthews. The complaint centers on U.S. Patent No. 5,789,215, covering methods of engineering the animal genome using isogenic DNA Technology.
¿ Maxim Pharmaceuticals, of San Diego, is selling its MaxVax mucosal vaccine technology for $3 million to an undisclosed buyer. The agreement also will settle an arbitration related to the technology. President and CEO Larry Stambaugh said the company could maximize shareholder value by concentrating on products for cancer and hepatitis C. Maxim's lead product, Maxamine, is heading for an NDA filing for melanoma this summer.
¿ Orchid BioSciences Inc., of Princeton, N.J., said underwriters of the company's IPO exercised in full an overallotment option for 900,000 shares at $8 per share, raising the offering's gross to $55.3 million. (See BioWorld Today, May 8, 2000, p. 1.)
¿ ReNeuron, of London, in-licensed a novel class of molecules with potential for treating pain and inflammation from Novo Nordisk A/S. The compounds are called Neurins and affect C-fibers, which transmit pain and inflammation signals. The lead compound, NNC 05-1869 (ReN1869), has been shown effective in preclinical pain and inflammation studies and was well tolerated in three Phase I clinical trials. ReNeuron will launch two Phase II trials, one targeting neuropathic pain and one in joint inflammation, and will also continue preclinical development of a backup compound. If Phase II testing succeeds, the companies will seek a commercialization partner.
¿ Roche Group, of Basel, Switzerland, withdrew the European application for the influenza fighter Tamiflu (oseltamivir) in order to gather data to answer questions raised by members of the Committee for Proprietary Medicinal Products. The application will be resubmitted as soon as possible, said Roche, which co-developed the product with Gilead Sciences Inc., of Foster City, Calif. Gilead's stock (NASDAQ:GILD) fell 14 percent Friday, or $8.75, to close at $53.125.
¿ Scios Inc., of Sunnyvale, Calif., and Eli Lilly and Co., of Indianapolis, are extending through 2001 a 1997 collaboration to develop therapies for Alzheimer's disease. Their research centers on finding potential inhibitors of amyloid, a protein found in excessive amounts in the brains of patients with the disease. (See BioWorld Today, May 8, 1997, p. 1.)
¿ The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, of Bethesda, Md., is providing $29 million for the HIV Vaccine Trials Network, which will provide a comprehensive, clinically based network to develop and test preventive HIV vaccines. Nine sites will be located in the U.S., with additional sites in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.