¿ Angiotech Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Vancouver, British Columbia, said preliminary results from the treatment extension phase of a Phase I/II clinical study of paclitaxel to treat secondary progressive multiple sclerosis were encouraging. The drug was demonstrated to be safe and well tolerated. Patients continued to show favorable trends, with more than 95 percent of the patients remaining stable or improved after 12 treatments administered over a 16-month time span.

¿ Ariad Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., said its gene-targeted drug, AP1903, was granted orphan drug status by the FDA for the treatment of acute graft-vs.-host disease.

¿ BioSignal Inc., of Montreal, said it completed the delivery of a 500,000 data-point screen to BASF Pharma, of Ludwigshafen, Germany. The delivered drug screen is based on BioSignal's ScreenReady Target homogeneous receptor binding technology. Specific drug target or financial details were not disclosed.

¿ United Therapeutics Corp., of Silver Spring, Md., and the Rush Heart Institute Center for Pulmonary Heart Disease at The Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center in Chicago began patient enrollment in a Phase III trial of the tablet beraprost for the treatment of moderate pulmonary hypertension. Betaprost is an oral form of prostacyclin, a molecule that is produced in the body's blood vessels to keep them dilated and free of platelet aggregation.

¿ Maxim Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Diego, said the FDA granted orphan drug status to Maxamine as an adjunct to cytokine therapy to treat metastatic malignant melanoma.

¿ NeoRx Corp., of Seattle, said excellent safety was observed in the Phase II study of its Skeletal Targeted Radiotherapy against multiple myeloma. The company has scheduled a meeting with the FDA to discuss a Phase III protocol design.

¿ Organogenesis Inc., of Canton, Mass., said 100,000 more shares of its common stock have been placed to satisfy an additional commitment, bringing the total shares placed in the offering to 788,925. The offering was priced at $14 per share and originally raised $9.4 million for the company. With the added shares, it has yielded net proceeds of $10.8 million. The company, which develops and manufactures products containing living cells and natural connective tissue, now has 31.4 million common shares outstanding.

¿ Orphan Medical Inc., of Minneapolis, said it obtained $1 million in additional financing through a private placement of 100,000 shares of newly issued common stock to the DG Lux Lacuna Apo BioTech Fund. The investment is priced at $10 per share and follows a $10.1 million private placement earlier this month. (See BioWorld Today, Feb. 24, 2000, p. 2.)

¿ Progen Industries Ltd., of Brisbane, Australia, raised about A$11 million (US$6.77 million) through the sale of ordinary shares to institutional investors. Proceeds will be used to further the development of the anticancer drug, PI-88, an angiogenesis and metastasis inhibitor. Progen will issue 2.8 million shares at A$4 per share, which represents less than 15 percent of Progen's issued capital. The shares will be allotted in early March.

¿ Progenics Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Tarrytown, N.Y., and Genzyme Transgenics Corp., of Framingham, Mass., signed an agreement to continue development of a transgenic source of supply for Progenics' PRO 542. Genzyme will develop transgenic goats that produce PRO 542 in their milk in exchange for undisclosed fees and milestone payments. The companies first formed the agreement in 1998. (See BioWorld Today, Feb. 20, 1998, p. 1.)

¿ Protein Design Labs Inc., of Fremont, Calif., initiated a Phase I trail with its Smart anti-gamma interferon antibody that will evaluate the safety of escalating doses of the antibody in normal volunteers. The company plans to develop the antibody for the treatment of autoimmune diseases, including Crohn's disease.

¿ The University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) plans to expand its research into an emerging science that interprets information from the human genome project using a $5 million grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation, of Los Angeles. UCLA will raise an additional $5 million to match the grant. With the funding, the university will establish the W.M. Keck Proteomics Center, which will focus on functional proteomics, structural proteomics and bioinformatics.

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