¿ Agouron Pharmaceuticals Inc., a La Jolla, Calif., subsidiary of the Warner-Lambert Co., said the FDA approved a film-coated version of Viracept Tablets for treating HIV infection. The new formulation of the already approved drug is intended to preserve tablet integrity.
¿ Amerimmune Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Los Angeles, said it formally began a Phase I/II trial of Cytolin, an antibody for HIV and AIDS designed to block adhesion molecules on one of the disease-fighting cells of the immune system, thereby protecting it from killer T cells that turn the immune system against itself. The trial will assess safety, potential benefits and biological effects of the drug.
¿ Cubist Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., presented positive data from ongoing Phase II dose-ranging studies of the bacterial antibiotic daptomycin. It showed that the drug, administered once a day at 4 mg/kg, had a 91 percent clinical success rate, compared to 76 percent in the comparator arm. The same dose demonstrated a success rate of 86 percent in a subset of patients infected with a vancomycin-resistant pathogen or who were intolerant to vancomycin. Sixty-three patients were evaluated. Based on the data the company plans to continue the study of daily administration in patients with serious infections, including bacteremia (which was part of this study), and expand this year into other infections, including complicated urinary tract infections and endocarditis.
¿ Immunomedics Inc., of Morris Plains, N.J., said its researchers, along with collaborators at the National Cancer Institute, produced a genetically engineered form of RNase, which has been shown in culture to kill human non-Hodgkin¿s lymphoma (NHL) cells as effectively as the natural form. Experiments in mice that coupled the natural RNase with the company¿s Lymphocide antibody cured 40 percent of mice growing a human NHL, while no untreated mice survived.
¿ InKine Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Blue Bell, Pa., began enrollment in a single-dose pharmacokinetic study using a tablet form of its orally administered steroid, CBP-1011. The study, at 24 sites, will compare in healthy volunteers the tablet form to the capsule form of CBP-1011. The capsule form is in Phase III trials for treating the autoimmune disease, idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura.
¿ Magainin Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Plymouth Meeting, Pa., presented preclinical data showing direct administration of an interleukin-9 antibody treatment to the lung significantly improved all measures of the allergic inflammatory response in the lung by the specific blockade of IL-9, demonstrating a broad functional role for IL-9 in the pathogenesis of asthma. The approach is in collaboration with Genentech Inc., of South San Francisco.
¿ NeoTherapeutics Inc., of Irvine, Calif., completed an $8 million financing that entailed the sale of 520,324 shares at $15.375 each to two institutional investors. The investors also received five-year warrants to purchase another 104,000 shares at $21 each. The company in November raised $10 million privately through the sale of shares at $11.83 each. The money will be used to expand development of Neotrofin for Alzheimer¿s disease and to fund further development of its new functional genomics subsidiary, NeoGene Technologies Inc.