¿ AVAX Technologies Inc., of Kansas City, Mo., said its autologous cancer vaccine, M-Vax, for Stage 3 metastatic melanoma may soon be on the market in the Netherlands, Germany and Japan. AVAX plans to begin marketing the vaccine in Australia in the first half of 2000.
¿ BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc., of Novato, Calif., and Genzyme General, of Cambridge, Mass., said 10 patients who participated in a pivotal clinical trial of BM101 (alpha-L-iduronidase) for the treatment of mucopolysaccharidosis 1 (MPS-1) continued to show improvement one year after starting therapy. The trial was concluded in October 1998 but the patients continued receiving enzyme replacement therapy.
¿ Calydon Inc., of Sunnyvale, Calif., said CV787, its second-generation virus, selectively infected and destroyed cancer cells in mice, while ignoring non-cancerous cells, at a kill rate of 10,000 to 1. Conventional cancer therapeutics generally deliver a kill rate of 4 to 1. CV787 will be tested in a Phase I/II trial this fall at centers throughout North America.
¿ CIBA Vision, of Atlanta, has initiated a treatment-investigational new drug clinical program for Visudyne therapy for the treatment of the wet form of age-related macular degeneration. Enrollment for the program begins today and will allow the treatment of up to 4,000 patients at 200 sites across the U.S. and Canada.
¿ Corvas International Inc., of San Diego, has extended its collaboration with Schering-Plough Corp., of Madison, N.J., to develop and market a new generation of oral anticoagulants based on inhibitors of key protease enzymes in the blood-clotting process. Under terms of the extension, Schering-Plough will continue to support preclinical development through December, and Corvas will receive $1 million in additional funding.
¿ Genomica Corp., of Boulder, Colo., has reached a licensing agreement for its software, Discovery Manager, with Clingenix Inc., formerly GeneAsia Inc., of San Carlos, Calif. Discovery Manager offers visualization and scientific analysis tools, project management and a database of genetic information.
¿ Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Diego, said its wholly owned subsidiary, Seragen Inc., has entered into a non-exclusive sublicense agreement with F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd., of Basel, Switzerland, and its U.S. subsidiary regarding the "Strom patents." The sublicense gives Roche the manufacturing and marketing rights in the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand for any product containing the active ingredient daclizumab. Roche already sells such a product named Zenapax and will pay Seragen a $2.5 million royalty for sales of Zenapax occurring before the agreement and royalties on net sales of licensed products beginning January 2001.
¿ Matrix Pharmaceutical Inc., of Fremont, Calif., said four presentations are being given this week at the 10th European Cancer Congress in Vienna, Austria, about the clinical use of IntraDose (cisplatin/ epinephrine) Injectable Gel. Results from a Phase II trial in patients with primary liver cancer showed that IntraDose injected into liver tumors eradicated the viable tumor volume in nine of 11 patients. The company's stock (NASDAQ:MATX) was up 48 percent to close at $6.125 on Tuesday.
¿ Neurobiological Technologies Inc., of Richmond, Calif., has completed patient enrollment in the Phase IIb human clinical trial of Memantine as a treatment for painful peripheral neuropathy in diabetics. The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of 421 patients is evaluating the ability of Memantine to relieve chronic pain due to peripheral neuropathy or nerve damage. It calls for daily oral doses for eight weeks.
¿ Novavax Inc., of Columbia, Md., has initiated a Phase III trial of Estrasorb, a topical estrogen replacement therapy, in symptomatic menopausal women. The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial will involve 200 subjects with half on placebo and half on 7.5-mg doses daily for 12 weeks. The clinical endpoint is the reduction of hot flashes.
¿ Sangamo BioSciences Inc., of Point Richmond, Calif., has been awarded a Phase II small business innovation research grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The money will help it expand its plant agriculture program using engineered zinc finger DNA binding proteins to genetically modify plants to produce transgenic crops.
¿ SIGA Pharmaceuticals Inc., of New York, said it is evaluating a number of strategic alternatives to maximize shareholder value, including the development or acquisition of an Internet technology or a merger with a private or public Internet company. SIGA also said it will consolidate its biotechnology assets and operations in SIGA Research Labs, based in Corvallis, Ore. The company plans to fund its ongoing vaccine and antibiotics programs through government grants, corporate partnerships and other alliances.
¿ SuperGen Inc., of San Ramon, Calif., said the company will not call its warrants for immediate redemption when they become eligible during the current warrant call period. Monday's closing bid price of $21.875 marked the 16th day of a required 20-day consecutive period in which the closing bid price had exceeded $18. The company will provide a 210-day notice period, extending the time until the redemption or optional exercise of the warrants.
¿ Texas Biotechnology Corp., of Houston, said the exercise deadline for its redeemable common stock purchase warrants has been extended from Sept. 30, 1999 to Dec. 31, 2000. The strike price remains $8.44.