¿ Antex Biologics Inc., of Gaithersburg, Md., said it completed a Phase I Small Business Technology Transfer Research contract from the Department of the Army for the development of a multivalent, oral vaccine for traveler¿s diarrhea. Based on successful results, the Army invited the company to submit an application for a Phase II contract for Activax.
¿ Biacore International AB, of Uppsala, Sweden, entered into a collaborative agreement with Pharmacia Corp., whereby Pharmacia will evaluate Biacore¿s new high performance system in analyzing the serum protein binding of drug candidates. The collaboration aims to reduce both drug discovery costs and time by providing critical decision making on drug lead selection. Pharmacia is a new company formed through the merger of Monsanto Co., of St. Louis, and Pharmacia & Upjohn, of Peapack, N.J.
¿ BioChem Pharma Inc., of Laval, Quebec, said an interim review of a long-term follow-up study involving 58 Chinese patients with chronic hepatitis B showed that about half of them achieved hepatitis e antigen seroconversion after four years of treatment with Epivir-HBV (lamivudine).
¿ Connetics Corp., of Palo Alto, Calif., signed a license agreement with F.H. Faulding & Co. Ltd. for the rights to develop and commercialize recombinant human relaxin (ConXn) in Australia. Connetics will receive $500,000 in cash, royalties on future sales and potential milestone payments for new indications.
¿ Genentech Inc., of South San Francisco, posted a net loss of $25.9 million, 10 cents per share, on revenues of $385.7 million for its first quarter ended March 31. In the same quarter last year, the company posted a net income of $14.4 million, 5 cents per share, on revenues of $322.4 million. The company said it has cash and short-term investments of $631.5 million. The company also said sales of marketed products increased 21 percent in the first quarter to $283.2 million from $234.1 million in the first quarter of 1999.
¿ Gilead Sciences Inc., of Foster City, Calif., said data of an open-label study evaluating adefovir dipivoxil in 23 patients with chronic hepatitis B virus infection who failed treatment with lamivudine demonstrate activity of adefovir dipivoxil. The data suggest that treatment with adefovir dipivoxil was associated with suppression of HBV DNA to undetectable levels in 80 percent of patients who had 12 to 15 months of treatment.
¿ Hemispherx Biopharma Inc., of Philadelphia, said it would provide Ampligen to certain HIV treatment specialists in the U.S. for FDA-authorized emergency treatment of individuals with AIDS who are developing resistance to approved regimens.
¿ Isis Pharmaceuticals, of Carlsbad, Calif., said it sold 297,619 shares of its common stock at $25.20 per share for a total of $7.5 million. The financing was completed under the terms of the company¿s HepaSense joint venture with Elan Corp. plc, of Dublin, Ireland, which is focused on the development and commercialization of ISIS 14803 to treat the hepatitis C virus. (See BioWorld Today, Jan. 10, 2000, p. 1.)
¿ Maxim Pharmaceuticals, of San Diego, said a regimen of Maxamine and interferon-alpha showed a complete viral response in 69 percent of patients with chronic hepatitis C virus treated in a Phase II dose-ranging study, based on 24-week results. This compares to the 29 percent or less response that has been observed in patients with similar profiles treated with IFN-alpha alone. The results were presented at the 10th International Symposium on Viral Hepatitis and Liver Disease in Atlanta.
¿ Ribozyme Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Boulder, Colo., said underwriters exercised their overallotment option to purchase 472,500 shares of common stock at $18 per share, raising the company an additional $8.5 million. The company recently completed a secondary offering of 3.15 million shares. (See BioWorld Today, April 7, 2000, p. 3.)
¿ Tularik Inc., of South San Francisco, sold 375,000 shares of common stock at $35.125 per share pursuant to the exercise of the underwriters¿ overallotment option. Of the shares, 281,250 were sold by the company and 93,750 were sold by stockholders. The overallotment was granted in connection with Tularik¿s public offering in March of 2.5 million shares. Total net proceeds, including the overallotment option, were about $71.3 million. (See BioWorld Today, Feb. 25, 2000, p. 1.)
¿ Unigene Laboratories Inc., of Fairfield, N.J., said Warner-Lambert Co., of Morris Plains, N.J., initiated Phase I/II trials with an oral calcitonin formulation developed by the two companies. Unigene received a $3.5 million payment from Warner-Lambert. The study will be conducted in multiple clinical sites around the U.S. and will assess the drug in osteoporosis patients. The study is expected to be concluded by the end of this year.
¿ XTL Biopharmaceuticals Ltd., of Rehovot, Israel, presented results from recent studies using its Trimera mouse model for evaluating novel compounds to treat hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection at the 10th International Symposium on Viral Hepatitis and Liver Disease in Atlanta. Results showed HCV-RNA could be detected in the mouse serum eight days after the transplantation of ex vivo infected human liver fragments, and a peak infection rate of 85 percent was reached between days 18 and 25. The Trimera system was used to evaluate a human monoclonal antibody (MAb) directed to the HCV envelope protein and another potential anti-HCV agent. The MAb was able to inhibit HCV infection of human liver tissue, as well as reduce the percentage of HCV positive animals.