¿ Genta Inc., of Lexington, Mass., said a study showed that treatment with its lead antisense compound, currently known as G3139, was both highly effective and superior to cisplatin in a preclinical mouse model of human cancer. After 28 days of treatment, cisplatin had no effect in reducing tumor size, whereas G3139 resulted in a 90 percent reduction in average tumor size, the company said. The results are published in the April issue of The Journal of Investigative Dermatology.
¿ Aviron, of Mountain View, Calif., said it sold 144,185 shares of its common stock to Acqua Wellington Asset Management LLC for an aggregate price of $4 million, or $27.74 per share. The company did not pay any fees or other compensation in connection with the transaction. Proceeds will be used to fund operating costs, capital expenditures and working capital needs, which may include costs of FluMist regulatory filings and the manufacturing and commercialization of FluMist in its current formulation, as well as development of a second-generation FluMist. The company raised about $60.7 million in a recent financing. (See BioWorld Today, April 10, 2000, p. 1.)
¿ Human Genome Sciences Inc., of Rockville, Md., said the High Technology Council of Maryland named the company as the High Technology Firm of the Year. Criteria in choosing a winner include the company's impact on the market, its contribution to the advancement of technology and its effect on the high-technology base of the region.
¿ Infectech Inc., of Sharon, Pa., and Ambion Inc., of Austin, Texas, combined their technologies at the Department of Infectious Diseases in the Veterans Administration Hospital in the Bronx, N.Y., to find resistance genes in tuberculosis.
¿ Michigan issued a request for proposals seeking projects to fund with $50 million in annual grants it has earmarked from state tobacco settlement money. The $50 million is part of Michigan's $1 billion plan to establish a Life Science Corridor for research in biotechnology, medicine and genetics.
¿ NeoPharm Inc., of Bannockburn, Ill., said it has begun trading on the Nasdaq National Market under the symbol NEOL.
¿ North American Vaccine (NAV), of Columbia, Md., and Baxter International Inc., of Deerfield, Ill., have agreed to a fifth extension of the maturity of NAV's credit facility with the Bank of America. The companies are continuing discussions in connection with their proposed merger. Baxter has proposed that the parties modify the existing share exchange agreement based on concerns that include NAV's failure to complete manufacturing of a two-month supply of NeiVac-C and obtain UK regulatory approval prior to the specified April 1 deadline. Baxter had proposed acquiring NAV for $309 million. (See BioWorld Today, Nov. 19, 1999, p. 1.)
¿ PPGx Inc., of Morrisville, N.C., secured an exclusive worldwide license from St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Nashville, Tenn., to test for mutations in the thiopurine S-methyl transferase gene. A subset of pediatric leukemia patients with mutations in the TPMT gene have been found to suffer severe, sometimes life-threatening, reactions to some common anticancer drug treatments. The test will allow physicians to screen for this mutation and adjust treatment accordingly.
¿ QLT PhotoTherapeutics Inc., of Vancouver, British Columbia, and CIBA Vision Corp., of Atlanta, said the Committee for Proprietary Medicinal Products in Europe recommended granting marketing authorization for Visudyne (verteporfin) therapy to treat wet age-related macular degeneration. The European Union Commission is expected to make a final decision within the next several months. The therapy was approved Wednesday in the U.S. (See BioWorld Today, April 14, 2000, p. 1.)
¿ Transgene SA, of Strasbourg, France, said it will not proceed with its proposed follow-on public offering. The offering is postponed "in light of current market conditions," the company said. Transgene is a gene therapy company focused on gene delivery technologies and gene therapy products to treat acquired or inherited diseases for which there is no cure or adequate therapy. The company had intended to sell 1.2 million shares in the offering. Its stock (NASDAQ:TRGNY) closed Friday at $20, down 93.75 cents.
¿ The Liposome Co. Inc., of Princeton, N.J., said the Committee for Proprietary Medicinal Products reached a positive opinion on the approval of Myocet (liposome encapsulated doxorubicin citrate complex) in combination with cyclophosphamide for the treatment of women with metastatic breast cancer. The favorable opinion now has to be endorsed by the European Commission before Myocet, formerly called Evacet, receives final marketing authorization. The company has said it needs additional clinical data before it can gain marketing approval for Evacet in the U.S. The Liposome Co. also said a meeting has been set for May 12 for stockholders to vote on the proposed merger with Elan Corp. plc, of Dublin, Ireland.
¿ Vion Pharmaceuticals Inc., of New Haven, Conn., received a $100,000 Small Business Innovation and Research grant from the National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute to conduct further studies of Tumor Amplified Protein Expression Therapy (TAPET). In particular, the company will demonstrate the expected improvement in antitumor activity of radiotherapy combined with the TAPET producing the Colicin E3 toxin.