¿ Amarillo Bioscience Inc., of Amarillo, Texas, said it entered into an agreement with Hayashibara Biochemical Laboratories, of Okayama, Japan, whereby a promissory note for $3 million will be converted into Amarillo common stock. The total number of shares to be issued will be determined by a stock average for the 10 trading days prior to Oct. 15. Hayashibara already owns 34 percent of the 6.36 million outstanding shares of Amarillo. One-third of the $3 million already has been advanced. Amarillo's stock (NASDAQ:AMAR) closed Thursday at $1.093, up 34 cents, or 46 percent.
¿ Centocor Inc., of Malvern, Pa., said a Phase II study of Remicade in Crohn's disease showed patients re-treated with Remicade maintained the benefit of the initial treatment while the placebo patients had a gradual loss of clinical benefit. At 36 weeks, 72 percent of the Remicade patients experienced clinical response compared with 44 percent of the placebo patients.
¿ Collateral Therapeutics Inc., of San Diego, reported the effectiveness of an S-3 registration statement covering the sale of 2.15 million shares of its common sock. The stock was purchased by select institutional and accredited investors in a $33.9 million private placement. (See BioWorld Today, Aug. 13, 1999, p. 1.)
¿ Dendreon Corp., of Seattle, opened the first dendritic cell processing center outside the U.S. The center, formed in a collaboration with Kirin Brewery Co., Ltd., of Tokyo, uses Dendreon's dendritic cell isolation and enrichment technology. The center has started treating its first patients in a Dendreon-sponsored study in prostate cancer being conducted under an FDA IND.
¿ Endorex Corp., of Lake Forest, Ill., said a tetanus taxoid vaccine in the Orasome delivery system administered orally and intranasally in animal models induced 100 percent seroconversion after a single intranasal dose. Additionally, the intranasal vaccine was capable of inducing antibodies that are associated with blockage of infection in the nasal passages and lungs. The results were presented at the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy in San Francisco. Endorex is in a vaccine delivery joint venture, named Innovax Corp., with Elan Corp. plc, of Dublin, Ireland.
¿ Genta Inc., of Lexington, Mass., said that Burkhard Jansen of the University of Vienna presented data on its lead compound, G3139, showing patients are experiencing a strong trend toward prolonged survival in Phase I/IIa trials. In the nine patients who have been followed the longest, Jansen said survival will exceed that observed in other recent studies using dacarbazine alone. Genta's trial involves dosing patients with G3139 and dacarbazine. G3139 is designed to reduce the Bcl-2 protein level in cancer through an antisense mechanism that specifically targets the messenger-RNA produced by the bcl-2 gene.
¿ Micrologix Biotech Inc., of Vancouver, British Columbia, started a two-part Phase II trial in the U.S. of MBI 226 for the prevention of central venous catheter-related bloodstream infection. In the first part, Micrologix will evaluate the immune responses in 200 healthy subjects. In the second part, the local safety and degree of systemic absorption will be assessed in 30 healthy people receiving the drug daily for 14 days.
¿ Myriad Genetics Inc., of Salt Lake City, identified six targets for drug discovery and has designed proprietary assays to detect small-molecule drugs modifying these targets. Three of these targets are undergoing high-throughput screening. The company initially is screening the compounds to treat cancer and rheumatoid arthritis and intends to also screen for compounds to treat atherosclerosis, chronic pain and certain central nervous system diseases.
¿ Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., and Kissei Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., of Matsumoto City, Japan, said Kissei will launch Prozei, an orally administered HIV protease inhibitor, in Japan. Prozei received a fast-track evaluation process in Japan and it will be available to patients in Japan today. Outside Japan, Prozei is known as Agenerase.
¿ Neurocrine Biosciences Inc., of San Diego, entered into a three-way licensing agreement of patents and patent applications relating to a series of small-molecule CRF receptor antagonist compounds with Janssen Pharmaceutica, of Beerse, Belgium, and DuPont Pharmaceuticals Co., of Wilmington, Del. Neurocrine and Janssen, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, receive exclusive rights to a subset of DuPont's CRF antagonist compounds and DuPont gets exclusive rights to a subset of CRF antagonist compounds jointly developed by Neurocrine and Janssen. Janssen and DuPont have agreed to certain milestone payments and royalties on product sales.
¿ Photogen Technologies Inc., of Knoxville, Tenn., acquired an option from Mary Hendrix, a professor at the University of Iowa Cancer Center, to form a new company, Photogen Biotechnologies Inc. The new company initially will focus on commercializing diagnostic and therapeutic products related to breast and prostate cancer as well as other diseases. Photogen Technologies provided $3 million for the new venture and would own 85 percent of Photogen Biotechnologies.
¿ Amylin Inc.'s exendin-4 was the subject of presentations in which researchers reported a potent, enhanced insulin response following administration in a study of people with Type 2 diabetes. The researchers reported exendin-4 administration resulted in a sustained, enhanced insulin response during the high blood glucose period. Amylin, of San Diego, is conducting Phase II studies of AC2993 (synthetic exendin-4) in Type II diabetes.
¿ SuperGen Inc., of San Ramon, Calif., formed a long-term clinical and business relationship with US Oncology, of Houston, to carry out several programs using SuperGen's rubitecan and Nipent anticancer compounds. Rubitecan is in Phase III studies for pancreatic cancer. Nipent is approved for hairy-cell leukemia and is in late-stage trials for several other indications.
¿ Synsorb Biotech Inc., of Calgary, Alberta, signed its first exclusive licensing agreement for the marketing and distribution rights for Synsorb Cd in Canada with Paladin Labs Inc., of Montreal. Synsorb Cd is entering Phase III trials and is designed to treat the recurrent form of Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea. Synsorb and Paladin will share equally in future revenues for the Canadian sales of Synsorb Cd. Paladin also made an up-front payment and promised milestone payments upon the approval of a Canadian new drug submission and the achievement of certain sales levels.