¿ American Biogenetics Sciences Inc. (ABS), of Copiague, N.Y., and Trevigen Inc., of Gaithersburg, Md., said they jointly generated a new way to measure DNA damage. They also have expanded an agreement to jointly create new monoclonal antibodies for use in the development of drugs for the control of DNA damage. The arrangement expands a relationship between the companies that is focused on the genetic causes of and treatments for cancer and aging. When the test to measure DNA damage is fully developed, it will be sold by Trevigen to biomedical researchers involved in research on DNA damage and repair. ABS will receive a royalty on all commercial products developed from the collaboration.
¿ Avant Immunotherapeutics Inc., of Needham, Mass., said results of a surveillance extension of the Phase II study of an investigational rotavirus vaccine suggest the two-dose oral vaccine should be helpful in preventing rotavirus gastroenteritis (RGE) disease in young children for at least two years following administration. Results suggest that efficacy in the second year against any RGE is about 60 percent. Total overall protection over the two-year period is about 76 percent against any RGE disease, 84 percent against severe RGE disease and 100 percent against very severe RGE disease. The double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase II study involved 215 infants.
¿ Axonyx Inc., of New York, said Ares-Serono Group, of Geneva, Switzerland, exercised its right to license Axonyx's novel anti-amyloid peptide technology, which has shown potential to yield compounds to treat Alzheimer's disease and other disorders. Ares-Serono will produce and develop therapies, and Axonyx will receive up to $22.5 million in milestone payments, plus royalties on any drugs produced. The companies first announced the collaboration and the option to license last year. (See BioWorld Today, May 21, 1999, p. 1.)
¿ Cangene, of Mississauga, Ontario, and Winnipeg, Saskatchewan, said it will seek shareholder and regulatory approval to consolidate its outstanding common shares on a three-for-one basis. The reverse split is the company's first step in seeking a listing on the Nasdaq National Market. The company intends to retain its listing on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
¿ Centocor Inc., of Malvern, Pa., and Eli Lilly and Co., of Indianapolis, said they completed patient enrollment of the Phase III trial investigating the use of ReoPro (abciximab) as primary drug therapy for patients with unstable angina. ReoPro is approved for use in patients with refractory unstable angina when a balloon or stent procedure is planned within 24 hours.
¿ Cyanotech Corp., of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, said it completed a private placement of 6 percent convertible subordinated debentures due 2002, providing net proceeds to the company of about $1.1 million. The debentures are convertible into shares of common stock of the company at $1.50 per share. The placement was managed by Taglich Brothers Inc., of New York.
¿ Genta Inc., of Lexington, Mass., said it will begin trading on the Nasdaq National Market under the symbol GNTA. It has traded under that symbol on the Nasdaq SmallCap Market for the past three years.
¿ Guilford Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Mountain View, Calif., signed a three-year agreement with Pharsight Corp., also of Mountain View, to jointly deploy Pharsight's software, methodologies and consulting services to accelerate Guilford's clinical development programs. Pharsight's software and services are intended to help users design better and more predictable clinical trials, as well as make confident drug development and portfolio management decisions.
¿ Kos Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Miami, and DuPont Pharmaceuticals Co., of Wilmington, Del., entered into a definitive agreement to form a strategic alliance aimed at better serving the cardiovascular markets in the U.S. and Canada. The companies will share development and commercialization of Nicostatin, a cholesterol-lowering product. DuPont will provide funding of up to $80 million and will make an equity investment in Kos of up to $30 million. The two companies will share equally in costs of promoting Nicostatin and in product profits after deducting a royalty to Kos.
¿ Lark Technologies Inc., of Houston, and the Novartis Research Foundation said they reached an agreement for Lark to provide DNA sequencing services to support gene discovery efforts at Novartis. The agreement specifies that Novartis will supply biological materials and Lark will provide high-throughput DNA sequencing services for a fee. Financial terms were not disclosed.
¿ Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Diego, said Targretin capsules showed positive results in Phase II trials in patients with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis and in Phase II/III trials in patients with refractory or persistent cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL). In the psoriasis trials, up to 46 percent of patients achieved at least a 50 percent improvement with Targretin capsules. The company expects to conduct a new Phase II multicenter trial exploring the safety, efficacy and dose of Targretin capsules in psoriasis. The Phase II/III trials show that 49 percent of patients achieved clinical complete response or a partial response. The capsule formulation of Targretin was approved by the FDA in December and is marketed for once-daily administration for the treatment of cutaneous manifestations of CTCL in patients who are refractory to at least one prior systemic therapy. (See BioWorld Today, Dec. 30, 1999, p. 1.)
¿ MacroChem Corp., of Lexington, Mass., said urologists surveyed at the American Urological Association meeting in Atlanta overwhelmingly expressed a preference for Topiglan, the company's investigational treatment for erectile dysfunction, over current and prospective oral and local drugs for the condition. Topiglan was picked by 71.2 percent of the 150 urologists polled, the company said.