¿ Flamel Technologies, of Lyon, France, announced a reduced loss of $2 million for the first quarter of this year, down from $2.9 million in the corresponding three months of 1999. Revenues rose to $2 million (from $1.3 million), mainly thanks to research income from Novo Nordisk in respect of the development of Flamel's long-acting insulin product LABI, as well as royalty income from Corning Inc. Total costs were brought down to $4 million (from $4.3 million), reflecting the company's continued efforts to cut overhead.
¿ Genset SA, of Paris, warned that it would "continue to incur losses for the next few years" as it reported a substantially higher net loss for the first quarter of 2000. It explained that "the amount and duration of such losses will depend largely on the level of the company's continued investment in genomics research activities and the timing of future strategic alliances." In the three months ended March 31, Genset's net loss was 66.7 percent up at EUR7.7 million (US$7 million), compared with EUR4.6 million in the first quarter of 1999. Although revenues increased by 24.4 percent to EUR8.2 million, the company's R&D spending rose by 23 percent to almost EUR12 million. For the second quarter, however, Genset expects to announce a much lower loss thanks to revenues from three companies with which it signed collaboration agreements recently - Corixa Corp., Abbott Laboratories and Sanofi-Synthilabo.
¿ Nicox SA, of Sophi-Antipolis, has been granted a clinical trials exemption by the United Kingdom's Medicines Control Agency for its nitro-flurbiprofen derivative HCT-1026, giving it the go-ahead to embark on Phase II clinical trials of the drug in urinary incontinence. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial of HCT-1026, a nitric-oxide-releasing, non-steroid anti-inflammatory, is to be carried out at King's College hospital in London on 24 patients with symptoms of urinary frequency and urgency, with or without urinary incontinence (overactive bladder). In Phase I trials, the drug demonstrated excellent safety as well as potent prostaglandin inhibition, and currently is undergoing a Phase IIa clinical study in France for the treatment of spinal cord injury in patients with urinary incontinence due to neurogenic bladder.
¿ Protherics plc, of Macclesfield, UK, said its angiotensin vaccine for the treatment of hypertension has completed Phase I trials and demonstrated that it can raise an antibody response. There were indications that these antibodies blocked the blood pressure-raising effects of angiotensin. The Phase I program comprised single- and two-dose studies in 50 volunteers. In all eight vaccine-treated subjects, anti-angiotensin antibodies were present four weeks after the injection, while all control subjects were negative. A Phase IIa dose-ranging trial in patients with high blood pressure is due to start shortly. The overall aim of the Phase II program will be to demonstrate the ability of the vaccine to control blood pressure as effectively as current oral drugs that act on the angiotensin system (ACE inhibitors). The program is expected to take 18 months.
¿ The Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia, has sold the patent for an improved method of identifying genetic diseases and traits to Affymetrix Inc., of Santa Clara, Calif. The technology, which involves detecting small, single changes in the genetic code called single nucleotide polymorphisms, was sold for an undisclosed sum.