¿ Alza Corp., of Mountain View, Calif., and Bayer Corp., of Pittsburgh, entered into a U.S. commercialization agreement for Viadur (leuprolide acetate implant) to treat advanced prostate cancer. Viadur received marketing approval from the FDA in March. Bayer will have the commercial rights through 2015. Alza will receive significant up-front and milestone payments, as well as manufacturing, patent and trademark payments and royalty payments.
¿ Amarillo Biosciences Inc., of Amarillo, Texas, said its board approved an agreement to work with Molecular Medicine Research Institute, of Mountain View, Calif., on further development of medical treatments using low-dose human interferon gamma.
¿ Elan Corp. plc, of Dublin, Ireland, and American Home Products Corp., of Madison, N.J., formed a research alliance to develop a vaccine that may be used to treat mild to moderate Alzheimer¿s disease and possibly prevent onset of the disease. The alliance will focus on AN-1792, which has been shown in transgenic mice to reduce and prevent the development of amyloid plaque, a substance believed to be associated with Alzheimer¿s disease.
¿ Gemini Genomics plc, of Cambridge, England, said in its first commercial gene discovery study, in collaboration with Kyowa Hakko Kogyo Co. Ltd., scientists confirmed relationships between a candidate gene provided by Kyowa and clinically relevant risk factors for age-related disease. The study focused on a gene thought to be involved in chronic diseases, such as osteoporosis, skin atrophy and emphysema. The study also uncovered novel relationships between the gene and components of metabolic syndrome, which had not previously been identified.
¿ Genetic ID Inc., of Fairfield, Iowa, established the Global Laboratory Alliance to set uniform, worldwide standards of excellence in the testing of genetically modified organisms. Japan-based Falco Biosystems Ltd., Australia¿s Agrifood Technology and Intertek Testing Services, of Hong Kong and Taiwan, joined the alliance.
¿ Motorola Inc.¿s BioChip Systems unit, of Northbrook, Ill., said it entered into a supply agreement with Axon Instruments Inc. to distribute Axon¿s GenePix 4000A microarray scanner as part of Motorola¿s bioarray solution. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
¿ NeoTherapeutics Inc., of Irvine, Calif., said it completed enrollment of patients in its U.S. Phase IIb clinical trial to study the effects of its lead compound Neotrofin (AIT-082, leteprinim potassium) in patients with Alzheimer¿s disease. (See BioWorld Today, March 30, 2000, p. 1.)
¿ Nexell Therapeutics Inc., of Irvine, Calif., said it completely rebuilt its patient education Web site, www.stemcellselection.com, after working with patients, physicians and advocacy groups to better understand concerns related to aggressive cancer therapy.
¿ Protein Pathways Inc., of Los Angeles, received a $100,000 Small Business Innovation Research Phase I grant from the National Institutes of Health to assign functions, using computational methods, to more than 1,500 genes from the Mycobacterium tuberculosis genome.
¿ Quantum Biotechnologies Inc., of Montreal, said its U.S. subsidiary, Quantum Biotechnologies USA and BIO101, of Carlsbad, Calif., completed their merger.
¿ Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Tarrytown, N.Y., in collaboration with the University of California at San Francisco, said Angiopoietin-1 protects blood vessels against damage and leaks in preclinical investigations. In the study, inflammatory agents and vascular endothelial growth factor caused significant damage and leaking in blood vessels. The study is reported in the April issue of Nature Medicine.
¿ Sangamo BioSciences Inc., of Point Richmond, Calif., signed a collaborative research agreement with Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Research Institute, of New York. Sangamo will provide specific Universal GeneTools to Bristol-Myers for use in its internal research and validation programs. Financial terms were not disclosed.
¿ Skye PharmaTech Inc., of Toronto, received shareholder approval to change its name to SYN*X Pharma Inc. The name change is in response to the confusion created by the similarity of the company¿s name to Skye Pharma plc.
¿ Sonus Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Bothell, Wash., said it renegotiated the U.S. marketing rights for EchoGen (perflenapent injectable emulsion) with Abbott Laboratories, of Abbott Park, Ill. The companies agreed that Abbott will return marketing rights and materials at no cost to Sonus. Abbott will be responsible for the manufacturing of EchoGen until mid-2002, and the two companies are currently negotiating amendments to the existing manufacturing and supply agreements.
¿ Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., of Jerusalem, said it completed its acquisition of Novopharm Ltd. Dan Family Holdings, the sole shareholder of Novopharm, received equity securities representing about 6.2 percent of Teva¿s outstanding shares.
¿ The University of California at San Francisco received an $11.9 million research grant from the National Institutes of Health in the first phase of a pharmacogenetics research initiative. Scientists plan to learn how variations in genes affect people¿s responses to drugs.
¿ Trinity Biotech, of Dublin, Ireland, completed a placement of 4 million shares at US$3.35 per share, raising the company net proceeds of about US$12.54 million. The shares were placed by Goodbody Stockbrokers, a subsidiary of AIB Bank, Ireland¿s largest bank. The new shares represent about 11.2 percent of the issued and outstanding shares. Proceeds will be used to make deferred payments on the company¿s acquisitions, including its acquisition of MarDx Diagnostics Inc., of Carlsbad, Calif.
¿ Vical Inc., of San Diego, said preclinical results were positive of a novel prostate cancer vaccine using the company¿s patented naked DNA gene delivery technology. The company used the technology to deliver a prostate cancer antigen and trigger an immune response against implanted prostate cancer cells in mice. The results could lead to more effective and better tolerated treatment regimens, the company said.