¿ Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc., of New Haven, Conn., said the terminal components of complement activation cause severe kidney damage during ischemia and reperfusion, suggesting that Alexion's monoclonal antibody inhibitors of terminal complement, 5G1.1 and 5G1.1-SC, may serve to limit kidney damage in patients with kidney ischemia. Study results are in the May 15 issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.
¿ Amarillo Biosciences Inc. (ABI), of Amarillo, Texas, said it reached an agreement with Key Oncologics Ltd., of Sandton, South Africa, for the development and marketing of ABI's low-dose orally administered interferon alpha in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia.
¿ Aquila Biopharmaceuticals Inc., of Framingham, Mass., said it engaged Adams, Harkness & Hill to provide financial advisory and investment banking services to assist the company in evaluating several merger and acquisition inquiries received from other companies. The company's stock (NASDAQ:AQLA) shot up 94 percent, or $1.875, on Monday to close at $3.875.
¿ Avax Technologies Inc., of Kansas City, Mo., said it began a Phase I/II study of L-Vax, its autologous therapeutic cancer vaccine for leukemia in patients with acute myelogenous leukemia. Patients in second remission will receive seven weekly L-Vax vaccinations followed by a six-month booster. The purpose of the study is to evaluate L-Vax's ability to induce an immune response against the patients' leukemia cells and to prevent or delay another relapse. About 40 patients will participate in the study.
¿ Aviron, of Mountain View, Calif., said it sold 348,983 shares of its common stock to Acqua Wellington Asset Management LLC for an aggregate price of $8 million, or $22.92 per share. Net proceeds will be used to fund operating costs, capital expenditures and working capital needs, which may include costs of FluMist regulatory filings and other FluMist development activities.
¿ BioTransplant Inc., of Charlestown, Mass., and the Massachusetts General Hospital said preliminary results using MEDI-507 humanized monoclonal antibody in a prototype of the AlloMune Cancer System were positive. The trial included six patients with blood or bone marrow cancers who received mismatched bone marrow transplants. Of those patients, MEDI-507 led to a partially blended immune system with no graft-vs.-host disease in four patients.
¿ ChromaVision Medical Systems Inc., of San Juan Capistrano, Calif., said data show ACIS HER2 immunohistochemical test results correlate strongly with overall patient survival. The data resulted from a collaborative study with the U.S. National Institutes of Health; the Institute of Pathology in Basel, Switzerland; Dakopatts AS, of Copenhagen, Denmark; and Vysis Inc., of Downers Grove, Ill.
¿ Elan Corp. plc, of Dublin, Ireland, completed its acquisition of The Liposome Co. Inc., of Princeton, N.J., following approval by stockholders. With the acquisition, Elan steps into the oncology market. Liposome shareholders receive .3850 of an Elan American depositary share and one contingent value right for each share of Liposome common stock. The agreement governing the contingent value rights will provide for a cash payment by Elan to holders of up to $98 million, with $54 million contingent on certain approvals of Myocet in Europe and $44 million contingent on Myocet reaching certain sales milestones outside the U.S. The companies announced their merger, valued at about $575 million, in March. (See BioWorld Today, March 7, 2000, p. 1.)
¿ Epimmune Inc., of San Diego, said the combination of its core vaccine technology with progenipoietin (ProGP) represents a new approach in immunotherapy for cancer. The ProGP-derived vaccine induces strong, disease-specific immune responses in an animal model, said researchers at the annual meeting of the American Association for Immunology in Seattle. Studies demonstrated that ProGP-mobilized dendritic cells are as potent as bone marrow-derived dendritic cells at presenting cytotoxic T-cell epitopes.
¿ GeneTrol Biotherapeutics Inc., of Oakland, Calif., said it completed a $3.9 million second round of venture capital financing. Fortune Consulting Group of Taiwan led the round. The company is focused on developing and manufacturing drugs for the treatment of viral diseases. Including its initial seed financing, it has raised a total of $5 million to date.
¿ Incyte Genomics Inc., of Palo Alto, Calif., and GeneEd Inc., of San Francisco, said they formed a partnership to offer genomics education courses online. Incyte will make an equity investment in GeneEd as part of the agreement. Financial terms were not disclosed.
¿ Large Scale Proteomics Corp., of Rockville, Md., and Biosite Diagnostics Inc., of San Diego, entered into a strategic discovery collaboration in the development of next-generation diagnostics. Biosite intends to use identified novel targets with its Omniclonal antibody technology to develop diagnostics for cardiovascular, cerebrovascular and neurological disorders. Biosite will retain rights of FDA-approved in vitro diagnostics resulting from the alliance. The companies will share in revenues from resulting products.
¿ Layton BioScience Inc., of Sunnyvale, Calif., said it received approval from the FDA to reintroduce Inversine to the U.S. market. Inversine, a nicotinic receptor antagonist, was formulated for the treatment of hypertension and was launched in the 1950s. Layton is studying Inversine for use in treating symptoms of Tourette Syndrome, which include motor and vocal tics and mood disorders. An 18-month study on the use of Inversine in combination with neuroleptic medications is scheduled to begin later this year at the University of South Florida and the University of Florida.
¿ Microbix Biosystems Inc., of Toronto, said it is forming a new business unit to provide contract testing services for client companies that develop and make biotherapeutic products. The new service will help clients design their therapeutic manufacturing processes by determining safety profiles earlier in development, the company said.
¿ Nexell Therapeutics Inc., of Irvine, Calif., said the FDA gave the company clearance to market an enhanced version of its Isolex 300i Magnetic Cell Selection System. The updated system involves new instrument software and modifications to the instrument hardware and disposable set. In July 1999, Nexell received marketing clearance for its stem cell selection systems, Isolex 300 and Isolex 300i, as a means to remove tumor cells and select hematopoietic stem cells from peripheral blood used in bone marrow transplantation following aggressive chemotherapy. The company's stock (NASDAQ:NEXL) closed Monday at $5.125, up $1.093, or about 27 percent. (See BioWorld Today, July 7, 1999, p. 1.)
¿ Progenics Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Seattle, said new findings on the structure of PRO 542 provide new insights into the antiviral activity of the drug. Researchers used electron microscopy to visualize the structure of PRO 542 alone and complexed with the HIV envelope glycoprotein gpl120, which protrudes from the virus and mediates viral entry into target cells. A detailed molecular picture demonstrates that PRO 542 possesses exceptional structural flexibility, meaning it may be able to neutralize HIV by crosslinking four gp120s on the surface of one or more virus particles.
¿ SangStat Medical Corp., of Fremont, Calif., and Abbott Laboratories, of Abbott Park, Ill., said the FDA approved Gengraf capsules as an immunosuppressant for the prevention of organ rejection in kidney, liver and heart transplants. The Gengraf capsules are interchangeable with Neoral capsules and will be more affordable, the companies said. SangStat got approval for its solution cyclosporine formulation, SanCya, in 1998. It aligned with Abbot for marketing in 1999. (See BioWorld Today, Nov. 5, 1998, p. 1; and May 11, 1999, p. 1.)
¿ Symyx Technologies Inc., of Santa Clara, Calif., and Celanese AG, of Frankfurt, Germany, said they will extend their collaboration through February 2002. The two companies have collaborated since February 1997 focusing on the discovery of new catalysts to convert basic feed stocks into higher value-added commodity chemicals. Under terms of the extended agreement, Celanese will have exclusive rights to use catalysts discovered by Symyx in the defined field, and Symyx will receive more than $5 million in research funding during the one-year extension term plus royalties on the sale of chemicals produced by these catalysts.
¿ United Therapeutics Corp., of Silver Spring, Md., and Grupo Ferrer Internacional SA, of Barcelona, Spain, entered into a strategic alliance for the distribution of Uniprost in Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Greece and Belgium, as well as Mexico and all countries in Latin America. Uniprost recently completed its pivotal trial for the treatment of late-stage pulmonary hypertension.