¿ Advanced Tissue Sciences Inc., of La Jolla, Calif., presented data it said provided the first demonstration of tissue engineering's ability to stimulate blood vessel formation in the heart. New blood vessel formation, or angiogenesis, is critical to the regeneration of damaged cardiac tissue. The data were presented at the 7th Biennial Meeting of the International Society for Applied Cardiovascular Biology in Tucson, Ariz. The preclinical data showed the ability of a metabolically active, tissue-engineered epicardial patch to induce blood vessel formation and improve cardiac function. The company's stock (NASDAQ:ATIS) gained 69 percent Friday to close at $12.125 on trading of 21.8 million shares.
¿ Angiotech Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Vancouver, British Columbia, received a $1.23 million (C$1.8 million) milestone payment from Boston Scientific Corp., of Boston. The milestone payment was triggered by Boston Scientific's filing to start clinical trials of a paclitaxel-coated coronary stent for treating restenosis associated with stent implantation.
¿ AVI BioPharma Inc., of Portland, Ore., will collaborate with Interventional Technologies (IVT), of San Diego, for the clinical trials of Resten-NG, AVI's gene-targeted drug for cardiovascular restenosis. IVT will supply its Infiltrator intramural delivery catheters for the upcoming Phase II trials at New York's Lenox Hill Hospital, and AVI will use this catheter in its Resten-NG development program. Resten-NG will be delivered into the coronary arteries of patients undergoing balloon angioplasty.
¿ Axxima Pharmaceuticals AG, of Munich, Germany, completed a private placement worth $9.86 million (DM20 million). TVM Techno Venture Management GmbH, of Munich, coordinated the round.
¿ Celsion Corp., of Columbia, Md., applied for listing on the Nasdaq SmallCap market. NASDAQ has not ruled on the filing.
¿ Collgard Biopharmaceuticals Ltd., of Waban, Mass., was granted an orphan drug designation for halofuginone for the treatment of scleroderma. Halofuginone is a specific inhibitor of collagen type 1 synthesis. Phase II trials are under way using a topical formulation.
¿ Connetics Corp., of Palo Alto, Calif. submitted an investigational new drug application for a Phase II trial to investigate ConXn (recombinant human relaxin) in the treatment of peripheral vascular disease (PVD). The trial will examine ConXn's effect in treating kidney and cardiovascular disease, which is often present in PVD patients. ConXn is in a Phase II/III trial for scleroderma and in two Phase I/II trials for the treatment of infertility.
¿ Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, of Seattle, and the University of Washington have discovered a mechanism that may help in the understanding of how retroviruses, such as HIV, infect cells. The report, which gives insight as to how the feline leukemia virus infiltrates cells, appears in the latest issue of Science. Scientists have identified another factor in the infection process: a secondary retroviral receptor that is crucial for the mutated, or T-cell adapted, virus to do its work. Without this receptor, named FELIX, the virus would not be able to infect cells.
¿ Immune Network Research Ltd., of Vancouver, British Columbia, closed a private placement that grossed C$8.5 million (US$5.8 million). The private placement, handled by GroomeCapital.com Inc., involved the selling of 15.5 million special warrants. Each warrant is exercisable into one unit consisting of one common share and a half share purchase warrant. Each whole share purchase warrant entitles the holder to purchase on common share at C$1.40 for 18 months. In addition, the company said that its collaboration with Biophage Inc., of Montreal, Quebec, has ended and that both will proceed independently with the development of their respective antibody-based therapeutics.
¿ Introgen Therapeutics Inc., of Austin, Texas, said its Phase III gene therapy study plan for head and neck cancer passed the review of the NIH's Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee, the first Phase III registrational trial protocol to pass that process. The company, which is in registration for an IPO, will test its adenoviral p53 gene therapy in 240 patients at 60 centers in North America and Europe. The products is being developed with RPR Gencell, part of Aventis. (See BioWorld Today, May 18, 1999, p. 1; and Feb. 18, 2000, p. 1.)
¿ Orphan Medical Inc., of Minneapolis, said Israel's Ministry of Health approved Busulfex (busulfan) injection for marketing. The approved indication provides for the use of Busulfex, in combination with other chemotherapeutic agents and/or radiotherapy, as a conditioning regimen prior to hematopoietic progenitor cell transplantation. This approval follows approvals in the U.S. and Canada.
¿ Photogen Technologies Inc., of Knoxville, Tenn., said its signal processing that may enable two-photon imaging could become a viable clinical diagnostic tool. Currently the technology is being used in biomedical research laboratories. When used with two-photon imaging systems, Photogen's signal processing greatly enhances the clarity of hard-to-define images, such as cells or tissue, it said.
¿ Praxis Pharmaceuticals Inc., from Seattle, said that trading of its shares has temporarily moved from the OTC Bulletin Board to the National Quotation Bureau's Pink Sheets, pending a review by the SEC of the company's form 10SB filing to become a fully reporting company.
¿ Sangamo BioSciences Inc., of Point Richmond, Calif., expanded its alliance with Baxter Healthcare Corp., of Deerfield, Ill., giving Baxter the option to acquire a three-year right of first refusal to Sangamo's future zinc finger DNA binding proteins (ZFP) therapeutic product candidates for cardiovascular diseases. Baxter paid Sangamo $7.5 million for the option. In January, the companies agreed to a $40 million alliance to work on therapeutics for ischemic cardiovascular and peripheral vascular diseases. (See BioWorld Today, Jan. 12, 2000, p. 1.)