¿ Celgene Corp., of Warren, N.J., said its board declared a 3-for-1 stock split of its common stock, payable in the form of a 200 percent stock dividend. The split is contingent upon shareholder approval and would increase the number of authorized shares of common stock to 120 million.
¿ Chromagen Inc., of San Diego, expanded its agreement with Merck and Co. Inc., of Whitehouse Station, N.J., to develop and supply a broad range of novel pharmacogenomic assays. Chromagen will use its High Performance Signal Amplification platform technologies and StarBright fluorophores to develop assays for evaluating cell signaling pathways and genes that are targets in Merck¿s programs.
¿ Connetics Corp., of Palo Alto, Calif., said Phase III results of Olux (clobetasol propionate) Foam showed that 74 percent of patients treated were clear or almost clear of their scalp psoriasis, vs. 63 percent of those treated with the clobetasol propionate solution. And only 10 percent and 6 percent of those treated with placebo foam and placebo solution, respectively, showed similar improvement. The company last year filed a new drug application for the product. (See BioWorld Today, July 30, 1999, p. 1.)
¿ Cytoclonal Pharmaceutics Inc., of Dallas, completed the call for redemption of its outstanding publicly traded Class C warrants. The last day for exercise of the warrants was Wednesday. The warrants provided the company with gross proceeds of about $12.6 million, resulting in a cash position in excess of $16.5 million. Cytoclonal has about 12 million shares of common stock and about 3.8 million Class D warrants outstanding with an expiration date of Nov. 2. They are exercisable at $8.75 per warrant.
¿ CytRx Corp., of Atlanta, said it entered into an evaluation agreement with a major undisclosed pharmaceutical company to evaluate its gene delivery technology in a gene-based vaccine for HIV. The agreement includes an option to license the technology under terms to be negotiated. CytRx will provide material and consulting services during the evaluation period in exchange for certain payments. The company is negotiating with another major company for rights to use the technology in another field of gene therapy.
¿ Mitotix Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., entered into a definitive merger agreement with a biotechnology company in which it will be acquired, according to JSB Partners LP, of Concord, Mass. The transaction is expected to close by the end of March, and further details and terms are not being disclosed at this time.
¿ NeoPharm Inc., of Bannockburn, Ill., filed an investigational new drug application for IL-13 PE38QQR, a novel ligand targeted cytotoxin for the treatment of glioblastoma, or brain cancer. The company hopes to initiate trials during the next few months.
¿ SangStat Medical Corp., of Fremont, Calif., submitted a new drug application in Canada for Thymoglobulin for prophylaxis and treatment of acute renal graft rejection in adult renal transplant recipients. The drug now is available under a special access program, permitting its distribution upon the request of a physician. Thymoglobulin is a pasteurized antithymocyte rabbit immunoglobulin that was approved in the U.S. in January 1999.
¿ SciClone Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Mateo, Calif., and Sigma-Tau SpA, of Rome, signed an expanded development and marketing partnership for Zadaxin throughout Europe. The collaborative efforts will target chronic hepatitis C. Sigma-Tau acquired exclusive development and marketing rights in Europe and will fund pivotal trials of the drug.
¿ Synsorb Biotech Inc., of Calgary, Alberta, said Synsorb Pk received formal notification of fast-track product designation from the FDA for the prevention of hemolytic uremic syndrome, a debilitating kidney disease.
¿ Theragenics Corp., of Buford, Ga., signed an agreement with the Atlanta Cardiovascular Research Institute for a two-phase animal study addressing the use of palladium 103 (Pd-103) for the prevention of restenosis. In the first phase, scheduled to begin in April, Theragenics will deliver catheter-based Pd-103 devices to determine if they can inhibit restenosis-like changes in pig coronary arteries following balloon angioplasty and stent implantation. In the second phase, Theragenics will deliver stent-based Pd-103 devices.
¿ Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., sold $175 million of convertible subordinated notes, due 2007, to qualified institutional buyers. The initial purchasers have access to an additional $26.25 million in notes to cover overallotments. The notes are convertible into Vertex common stock at a price equal to $80.64 per share. (See BioWorld Today, March 6, 2000, p. 5.)
¿ Xanthon Inc., of Research Triangle Park, N.C., entered into a sponsored research agreement with Duke University in Durham, N.C., to focus on the development of novel chemistries for attaching oligonucleotides to indium tin oxide electrodes. Particular emphasis will be placed on the identification of suitable linkers for attaching DNA to the electrode, including synthesis and characterization of these chemical linking materials.