¿ AutoImmune Inc., of Lexington, Mass., said a subsidiary of Elan Corp. plc, of Dublin, Ireland, purchased all of AutoImmune's rights to certain patent applications involving the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. AutoImmune will receive up to $7 million in cash in a combination of up-front fees and contingent payments over the next three years. At the time the contingent payments are made, the buyer will receive warrants to purchase up to 750,000 shares of AutoImmune stock at the market price for AutoImmune shares when the warrants are issued.
¿ AVI BioPharma, of Portland, Ore., said studies demonstrate the safety of the company's third-generation antisense compounds, Neugenes. Scientists will present study results at the 39th annual meeting of the Society of Toxicology in Philadelphia showing that Neugenes do not interfere with normal zebrafish embryonic development at any dosage level.
¿ Baxter Healthcare Corp., of Glendale, Calif., through its Hyland Immuno division, and AlphaOne Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Alameda, Calif., agreed to co-develop an inhaled, recombinant alpha 1-antitrypsin (rAAT) product. Baxter receives exclusive worldwide marketing and distribution rights for rAAT to treat hereditary emphysema, and an option to develop other pulmonary indications, including asthma, cystic fibrosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Baxter also formed a collaboration with Pharming Group NV, of Leiden, the Netherlands, to develop recombinant human C1 inhibitor to treat hereditary angioedema. The drug is in preclinical studies and is expected to enter Phase I development this year. Development costs will be shared between the two companies and Pharming will receive license fees. Baxter Hyland Immuno will have worldwide marketing rights for the hereditary angioedema indication.
¿ Biopure Corp., of Cambridge, Mass., said its oxygen therapeutic, Hemopure, stabilized severe hemorrhagic shock better than standard fluid resuscitation with Ringer's lactate and equally well as blood transfusion in a preclinical pharmacology study.
¿ Cell Therapeutics Inc., of Seattle, said the linkage of camptothecin to polyglutamate markedly improved its water solubility, safety and effectiveness. In preclinical studies, researchers found they can take camptothecins and enhance their anticancer effectiveness, while reducing their serious toxicities.
¿ Chiron Corp., of Emeryville, Calif., said it obtained an injunction against Sorin Biomedica Diagnostic SpA, of Milan, Italy, prohibiting Sorin from manufacturing or selling its hepatitis C virus (HCV) immunodiagnostic tests in Italy. The injunction, issued late last year, is part of a broader ruling against Sorin finding that its tests infringed valid claims of the Italian counterpart to Chiron's European HCV patent No. 0 318 216.
¿ CuraGen Corp., of New Haven, Conn., and the Berkeley Drosophila Genome Project entered into a collaboration to create the first protein interaction map of the Drosophila melanogaster genome. By discovering and mapping the protein interactions in the fruit fly, scientists will gain insight into the function of human genes and proteins and how they contribute to the onset of disease. CuraGen expects to publish results of the collaboration and release data to the public later this year.
¿ Drug Royalty Corp. Inc., of Toronto, said Thousand Oaks, Calif.-based Amgen Inc.'s data on the Phase II trials of Neupogen SD (SD-01) demonstrated efficacy and safety similar to daily Neupogen. Drug Royalty receives royalties based on Amgen's worldwide sales of Neupogen and related formulations of the product. Neupogen fights infection by boosting the white blood cell count in chemotherapy patients. A Phase III trial of SD-01 began in July 1999. It is expected to be completed in the second half of this year.
¿ Dura Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Diego, and Spiros Development Corp. II Inc. (SDCII), also of San Diego, entered into a definitive merger agreement for Dura to acquire SDCII. For each share of SDCII callable common stock, shareholders will receive $13.25 in cash and one five-year warrant to purchase a fractional share of Dura common stock at $17.94 per share, which represents a 25 percent premium over an average closing price of Dura common stock. The total consideration for the agreement is about $100.8 million, or $15.75 per share of SDCII callable common stock.
¿ Genzyme Transgenics Corp., of Framingham, Mass., expanded its agreement with Centocor Inc., of Malvern, Pa., to develop and produce a second monoclonal antibody in transgenic goats for Centocor. Genzyme Transgenics now will develop transgenic goats that express this second monoclonal antibody in their milk and provide the monoclonal antibody to Centocor in exchange for undisclosed fees and milestone payments.
¿ Guilford Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Baltimore, said it is accelerating development of a new drug delivery product candidate based on the company's biopolymer technology. Lidomer Microspheres is a site-specific, controlled-release analgesic that is being designed to offer improved post-surgical pain management.
¿ Helicon Therapeutics Inc., of Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., appointed George Carmany III as chairman and CEO, effective immediately. Carmany succeeds Walter Lovenberg, who will continue as a director of the company. Carmany spent more than 30 years in the financial services industry, holding senior positions with American Express Co. and others.
¿ Ilex Oncology Inc., of San Antonio, initiated a second Phase I trial of its vitamin D3 analog, ILX23-7553. The trial at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute will evaluate the analog's optimum dosage, safety and potential to treat up to 35 patients with a variety of refractory solid tumors.
¿ Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Diego, said it moved LGD2226 to the human development track. The company believes the candidate represents the first selective androgen receptor modulator for the treatment of major androgen-related diseases and disorders, such as osteoporosis, male hormone replacement, male and female sexual dysfunction and cachexia.
¿ Maxygen Inc., of Redwood City, Calif., priced its follow-on offering of 1.5 million shares at $97 per share. The price will raise the company $145.5 million gross, considerably less than the $250 million expected when the stock traded at about $170 earlier this month. The company's stock (NASDAQ:MAXY) closed Tuesday at $85.062, down $13.937, or 14 percent. (See BioWorld Today, March 6, 2000, p. 1.)
¿ Millennium Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., extended an agreement with Kyowa Hakko Kogyo Co. Ltd., of Tokyo, for an additional year. This provides Millennium with scientific and financial resources for the application of chemokine receptor technology to discover new treatments for inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. In addition to research funding and milestone payments, Millennium also will receive licensing fees and royalties on worldwide product sales of any products that result from this collaboration.
¿ PowderJect Pharmaceuticals plc, of Oxford, UK, and its subsidiary PowderJect Vaccines Inc. said Glaxo Wellcome plc, of London, agreed to purchase a further DNA vaccine license in an undisclosed therapeutic area using PowderJect's delivery technology under the companies' existing collaboration agreement. Glaxo also renewed its options for two cancer antigens and one other undisclosed disease area and continues to retain its option rights to the other three fields covered by the original agreement. As a result, Glaxo will pay PowderJect $1.75 million in new license and option fees. The two companies began their collaboration in March 1998. (See BioWorld Today, March 5, 1998, p. 1.)
¿ Protein Design Labs Inc. (PDL), of Fremont, Calif., said the European patent office revoked the broad claims in its European humanization patent EP 0 451216. The decision was based on formal matters of European patent law. The opposition division did not decide whether the claims were inventive in light of the prior art. The decision upheld claims that protect Zenapax, which was created at PDL. PDL expects to appeal the decision. PDL's stock (NASDAQ:PDLI) closed at $96.312 on Tuesday, down $37.812, or 28 percent.
¿ Theratechnologies, of Montreal, said the Societe generale de financement du Quebec (SGF) exercised 500,000 warrants at C$6.10 (US$4.16), representing an additional investment of C$3.05 million (US$2.08 million). The investment brings the SGF's total participation in Theratechnologies to 8.4 percent.
¿ Viragen Inc., of Plantation, Fla., and Viragen Europe Ltd. agreed to collaborate with Biosyntech Canada Inc., of Laval, Quebec, applying a novel protein pharmaceutical delivery system. The project will assess the potential of Biosyntech's BST-GEL as a sustained release system for Viragen's Omniferon, which is in Phase II trials in Europe for hepatitis C.