¿ Chiron Corp., of Emeryville, Calif., said a federal district court in Dusseldorf, Germany, issued a judgment finding that certain HIV polynucleotides used in F. Hoffmann-La Roche Inc.'s HIV PCR diagnostic tests infringe Chiron's European Patent No. 0181150, including its Amplicor and Amplicor Monitor products. The court ruled that Chiron is entitled to damages for Roche sales dating back to 1993. The company is further entitled to enjoin Roche from selling these products in Germany. Chiron said it offered Roche a license under its patent, and unless Roche accepts the license, Chiron intends to enforce the injunction order.
¿ Cytoclonal Pharmaceutics Inc., of Dallas, said it received approval for its common stock to be included for trading on the Nasdaq National Market beginning May 22 under the ticker symbol CYPH.
¿ Abgenix Inc., of Fremont, Calif., said it signed a collaboration agreement with SmithKline Beecham plc, of London, under which SmithKline will use the XenoMouse technology to generate fully human monoclonal antibodies to an undisclosed target. Abgenix will receive a research license payment and could receive additional fees and milestone payments, plus royalties on future product sales. SmithKline will be responsible for products developed through the collaboration.
¿ AVI BioPharma Inc., of Portland, Ore., said data from its Phase II study of its therapeutic cancer vaccine, Avicine, demonstrate that patients with advanced colorectal cancer who responded to the vaccine lived as long or longer than patients treated with traditional chemotherapy, but without experiencing the side effects of chemotherapy. The company expects to enter Phase III trials with Avicine later this year. The Phase II data will be presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncologists meeting in New Orleans.
¿ MoliChem Medicines Inc., of Chapel Hill, N.C., said it completed a Phase I safety study in aerosol with Moli1901 in 16 healthy volunteers. The four-month study of four doses showed no serious adverse experiences. The company now intends to initiate a study in cystic fibrosis patients. The drug induces chloride and water transport in airway cells. MoliChem was created in 1995 to focus on research and drug development for respiratory diseases.
¿ NicOx SA, of Sophia-Antipolis, France, said AstraZeneca plc, of London, initiated a Phase I trial of HCT-3012, a compound being developed to treat pain and inflammation. The start of the trial triggers a US$2 million milestone payment to NicOx. The Phase I trial will evaluate safety and tolerability in 60 healthy volunteers.
¿ Ophidian Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Madison, Wis., said its board is evaluating options and is taking actions to conserve the company's cash resources. It plans to direct the company's current resources to the marketing of its technology and manufacturing assets, and to reduce expenses of product development, clinical trials and prototype manufacturing. The board is concerned that new development capital may not be raised quickly enough to support the company's operating level. Ophidian, founded in 1989, focuses on the development of products for infectious and inflammatory diseases of the intestinal tract.
¿ Repligen Corp., of Needham, Mass., said it acquired rights from Tolerance Therapeutics LLC to a U.S. patent application broadly claiming the use of CTLA4-1g in immune-based diseases and organ transplantation. CTLA4-Ig is a derivative of a natural immune cell protein that is capable of blocking immune responses.
¿ The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR), of Rockville, Md., said results of two independent estimates indicate the human genome contains approximately 120,000 genes. By comparing sequences within the Human Gene Index with those of known genes, as well as with the completed sequence of human chromosome 21, TIGR researchers were able to arrive at two independent estimates of the number of genes encoded in the genome. In the process, they discovered that the annotation of chromosome 22 likely missed a significant number of genes. The study results will be published in the June issue of Nature Genetics.