¿ AlphaGene Inc., of Woburn, Mass., completed a $6.5 million private placement. The company expects to use the funds to invest in proprietary technologies leading toward disease pathways and new drug discoveries.

¿ Aurora Biosciences Corp., of San Diego, said Merck & Co. Inc., of Whitehouse Station, N.Y., expanded its original collaborative and licensing agreement via two amendments. The first amendment provides for additional assay development and screening of a group of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) isolated by Merck. The second amendment involves Aurora's development of instrumentation and implementation of software enhancements to Aurora's ultra-high-throughput screening system to expand its planned functionality. The focus will be to develop functional cell-based assays using Aurora's GeneBLAzer technology and promiscuous G protein technology for a number of GPCRs identified by Merck, and to screen compound libraries to identify hit molecules. Aurora could receive research and development milestones, as well as royalties. Other terms were not disclosed.

¿ Biogen Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., reported fully diluted earnings per share of 77 cents and revenues of $216.8 million in the first quarter of 2000, compared with earnings per share of 29 cents and revenues of $171.7 million for the same quarter last year. The company also posted a net income in the first quarter of $121.4 million, compared with $45.7 million in the first quarter last year. Biogen's stock (NASDAQ:BGEN) closed Tuesday at $53, down $12, or 18 percent.

¿ Celgene Corp., of Warren, N.J., said its stockholders approved a 3-for-1 stock split and an increase in the number of authorized shares of common stock from 30 million to 120 million. Stockholders of record at the close of business Tuesday will receive the new shares on or about Friday.

¿ EntreMed Inc., of Rockville, Md., began its first Phase I trial of Angiostatin protein, an inhibitor of angiogenesis. The trial will use a dose-escalation method to determine its safety profile in cancer patients.

¿ Gene Logic Inc., of Gaithersburg, Md., said NeuralStem BioPharmaceuticals Ltd., of College Park, Md., purchased a module of the GeneExpress database to use for its drug discovery and development programs in several central nervous system disease areas. NeuralStem is the fourth commercial customer for the product since it was released commercially in November. Financial terms were not disclosed.

¿ Genetronics Biomedical Ltd., of San Diego, said the journal Human Gene Therapy published results of a preclinical study on Genetronics electroporation technology that showed an average 500-fold increase in gene expression in electroporated muscle tissue compared with non-electroporated muscle. Sustained, long-lasting gene expression also was observed for at least six months in the animal model.

¿ Genmab AS, of Copenhagen, Denmark, raised about US$4.8 million (DKK35.03 million) and added a new anticancer product to its portfolio of human antibodies in development. With the addition of this new preclinical program, the company has four products in development, including one in clinical trials. The company also said it has acquired unlimited access to the HuMAb-Mouse technology through an expanded license from Medarex Inc., of Princeton, N.J.

¿ GenSci Regeneration Sciences Inc., of Toronto, created a new subsidiary, GenSci OCF Inc., through the acquisition of a majority stake in a privately held oral craniofacial company located in Montreal. GenSci OCF is a biosurgical company dedicated to the oral craniofacial market, which represents 16 percent of the total bone grafting market.

¿ Guilford Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Baltimore, said it received a $1 million milestone payment from Aventis SA, formerly Rhone-Poulenc Rorer Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Collegeville, Pa., for regulatory approval of Gliadel Wafer in Spain. Gliadel Wafer has been approved as an adjunct to surgery to prolong survival in patients with recurrent glioblastoma multiforme.

¿ Immucor Inc., of Norcross, Ga., said it resumed its repurchase of shares under its previously approved stock repurchase program. In August 1998, the board authorized the company to repurchase up to 800,000 shares of its common stock. To date, about 116,000 shares have been repurchased.

¿ Kosan Biosciences Inc., of Hayward, Calif., received a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases to support development of novel erythromycin-derived agonists of the motilin receptor.

¿ SafeScience Inc., of Boston, said it initiated a Phase II trial of GBC-590 in patients with pancreatic carcinoma, with the first patient dosed at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. The company also plans to conduct Phase II trials of GBC-590 in patients with cancers of the colon, liver and prostate later this year.

¿ Sequenom Inc., of San Diego, entered into a research collaboration with Gemini Genomics plc, of Cambridge, UK, to discover and validate associations between single nucleotide polymorphisms in the human genome and particular diseases, including disease risk traits. Gemini will provide well-characterized DNA samples and clinical information for selected disease traits to be analyzed. Sequenom will use its MassARRAY system to validate the samples. The companies then will work together to analyze the data. They will jointly commercialize any diagnostic or therapeutic applications resulting from the collaboration.

¿ Third Wave Technologies Inc., of Madison, Wis., said the Massachusetts General Hospital became the 20th clinical center to adopt Third Wave's Invader operating system for use in routine clinical applications.

No Comments