Aastrom Biosciences Inc., of Ann Arbor, Mich., was issued U.S. Patent No. 5,994,129 titled "Portable Cassette for use in Maintaining and Growing Biological Cells." It covers the company's approach to facilitating automated, sterilely-closed cell production designed to enable hospitals to produce a variety of cells for therapeutic applications.

AltaRex Corp., of Waltham, Mass., was awarded a U.S. patent allowance for its patent covering an innovative technique using ultraviolet light to modify antibodies and to enhance certain beneficial immune responses. It covers the use of the company's lead product candidate, OvaRex MAb.

Antex Biologics, of Gaithersburg, Md., was issued U.S. Patent No. 6,051,416 titled "Methods for Producing Enhanced Antigenic Helicobacter Species." The patent covers the company's Helicobacter pylori vaccine, Helivax, which is in clinical development and is produced using the company's Nutriment Signal Transduction technology.

Arcaris Inc., of Salt Lake City, was issued U.S. Patent No. 6,025,485 titled "Methods and Compositions for Peptide Libraries Displayed on Light-Emitting Scaffolds," which relates to the use of fluorescent proteins as scaffolds for peptide probes that Arcaris employs in target identification and validation procedures.

Ariad Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., was issued two additional U.S. patents covering new applications and components of the Ariad Regulated Gene Expression Technology system for pharmaceutical regulation of cellular processes. U.S. Patent No. 6,054,436 covers methods for genetically engineering hematopoietic cells and for controlling the survival of these cells using Ariad's small-molecule drugs. U.S. Patent No. 6,046,047 covers novel genes for specialized proteins that are designed to localize within the cell and control cellular activity through interaction with Ariad's small-molecule drugs, known as Dimerizer Drugs.

AVI BioPharma Inc., of Portland, Ore., was issued U.S. Patent No. 6,030,941 for Cytoporter, its drug delivery system. The system transports drugs across lipid barriers into the interior of cells where they have their optimal therapeutic effect.

Ciblex Corp., of San Diego, was issued U.S. Patent Nos. 6,028,058 and 5,891,855, related to the company's core focus on protein trafficking and cellular pathways of protein transport. The first patent includes claims covering methods for regulating the trafficking of proteins to the nucleus of a cell and compositions of molecules that inhibit or block nuclear protein trafficking. The second patent covers methods of inhibiting the export out of cells of so-called "leaderless proteins," many of which are associated with important human diseases.

Collgard Biopharmaceuticals Ltd., of Waban, Mass., was issued U.S. Patent No. 6,028,075 for the use of its lead compound, Halofuginone and derivatives, in the treatment of tumors in the bladder, prostate, breast, skin and lung.

Corixa Corp., of Seattle, was issued U.S. Patent No. 6,045,796 titled "Vaccination with Peptide of MHC Class II Molecules for Treatment of Autoimmune Disease." It includes claims covering the composition of the AnervaX.RA vaccine, as well as use of the vaccine to treat rheumatoid arthritis.

Endorex Corp., of Chicago, was issued U.S. Patent Nos. 6,024,983 and 6,008,333, covering two areas of technology Endorex is developing for improved vaccines. The first patent describes methods and compositions for enhancing the activity of vaccines by encapsulating antigens in microparticles of less than 10 micrometers in size. The second patent describes methods for chemically synthesizing muramyl dipeptide-based immunomodulators.

GenStar Therapeutics, of San Diego, said the University of California was issued U.S. Patent No. 6,051,218 titled "Tumor Radiosensitization Using Gene Therapy." The patent covers a method of inhibiting the growth of a cancerous tumor by delivering the cytokine gene interleukin-3 to sensitize tumors to standard radiation therapy. GenStar exclusively licensed the patent for use in developing a novel treatment for prostate and other cancers.