¿ Abgenix Inc., of Fremont, Calif., initiated its first Phase II clinical trial with ABX-IL8. The multi-center, placebo-controlled trial is expected to enroll 90 patients with moderate to severe psoriasis. An interim review of data is possible by the end of this year. Future additional Phase II trials of the drug are being evaluated in psoriasis and other indications, such as rheumatoid arthritis and cancer.

¿ Adenosine Therapeutics LLC, of Charlottesville, Va., said it signed a licensing agreement for its potent coronary vasodilator compounds, ATL-146e and ATL-193, with DuPont Pharmaceuticals Co., of Wilmington, Del. DuPont has obtained a worldwide license for the development and use of these compounds within the heart imaging field for the diagnosis and prognosis of coronary artery disease. Adenosine Therapeutics will retain rights in all other fields.

¿ Coulter Pharmaceutical Inc., of South San Francisco, and Medarex Inc., of Princeton, N.J., said Coulter will obtain access to Medarex¿s HuMAb-Mouse technology to generate fully human monoclonal antibodies against a number of specific target antigens. Under terms of the collaboration, Coulter will have the option to obtain exclusive commercial rights to these antibodies. In return, Medarex could receive research and development payments, license fees and milestone payments, as well as royalties on commercial sales of antibodies developed by Coulter.

¿ Digene Corp., of Gaithersburg, Md., said it received approval from the FDA to manufacture and distribute certain products of the Hybrid Capture Gene Analysis System at the company¿s new site in Gaithersburg.

¿ Genome Therapeutics Corp., of Waltham, Mass., said it entered into a collaboration with Jamesburg, N.J.-based Compugen Inc.¿s LabOnWeb.com to establish Internet-based access to Genome Therapeutics¿ proprietary PathoGenome Database. Compugen will have exclusive rights to make the database available and the two companies will share revenue. Other financial details were not disclosed.

¿ Immunomedics Inc., of Morris Plains, N.J., said new preclinical results on cancer therapy show the bispecific antibody approach offered the best tumor uptake and retention in a two-step pretargeting method developed by the company with IBC Pharmaceuticals LLC. By tagging the therapeutic molecule with a potent radioisotope, such as rhenium-188, the company¿s results indicate an effective method of radioimmunotherapy can be achieved, and that repeated doses can be given without inducing a deleterious immune response.

¿ Intergen Co., of Purchase, N.Y., said Amersham Pharmacia Biotech Inc., of Piscataway, N.J., entered into a licensing agreement for Amplifluor, Intergen¿s nucleic acid detection technology. Amersham will use Amplifluor to enable detection in its Rolling Circle Amplification technology for ultra-sensitive, high-throughput detection of single nucleotide polymorphisms.

¿ Interleukin Genetics Inc., of San Antonio, said Philip Reilly will become the new CEO and chairman of the board. Reilly is a medical geneticist and attorney. While serving in his current position as the executive director of the Shriver Center for Mental Retardation in Waltham, Mass., he has been actively involved in the development of the genomics industry.

¿ Maxim Pharmaceuticals, of San Diego, initiated a clinical study to evaluate the safety of triple-drug therapy incorporating the company¿s lead drug, Maxamine, in patients with chronic hepatitis C infection. The study will evaluate the safety of treatment with Maxamine in combination with the immunotherapeutic agent interferon-alpha and the antiviral drug ribavirin in 15 hepatitis C patients who were nonresponsive to prior therapy.

¿ Monsanto Co., of St. Louis, and Pharmacia & Upjohn, of Peapack, N.J., said they satisfied all conditions required to complete their merger. The companies filed to create a new company called Pharmacia Corp., which has begun trading on the New York and Stockholm stock exchanges under the symbol PHA.

¿ PathoGenesis Corp., of Seattle, formed PathoGenesis BV, a new company to be headquartered in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The company will market tobramycin solution for inhalation (TOBI) in the Dutch market upon the drug¿s regulatory approval there.

¿ SuperGen Inc., of San Ramon, Calif., said data from a study of nine patients with steroid refractory graft-vs.-host disease (GVHD) who received ¿salvage therapy¿ with pentostatin suggest that pentostatin has activity in the treatment of GVHD. The pentostatin (Nipent) therapy was well tolerated. Four of nine patients achieved a complete response and two achieved a partial response.