¿ Amgen Inc., of Thousand Oaks, Calif., said the court date for its patent lawsuit against Hoechst Marion Roussel, a subsidiary of Frankfurt, Germany-based Hoechst AG, and Transkaryotic Therapies Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., involving its erythropoietin product, Epogen, was set for April 2000. Amgen first filed the lawsuit in April 1997. (see BioWorld Today, June 10, 1999, p. 1; and April 17, 1997, p. 1.) Separately, Amgen clarified an earlier announcement by saying it may, rather than will, file for approval by year's end for IL-1ra, a product for rheumatoid arthritis. (See BioWorld Today, July 14, 1999, p. 1.)

¿ Biognosis Inc, of Bethesda, Md., licensed the pharmacogenomics software of Genomica Corp., of Boulder, Colo., to provide the computing infrastructure needed in its translational genetic research. Genomica's Discovery Manager offers integrated bioinformatics and pharmacogenomic tools on individual desktops.

¿ EntreMed Inc., of Rockville, Md., received FDA approval to begin Phase I trials for Endostatin, an anti-angiogenesis product for cancer. The first trial will be conducted at the Dana-Farber/Partners CancerCare group of hospitals in Boston.

¿ Enzo Biochem Inc., of Farmingdale, NY., said its immune modulation technology entered human clinical trials for treatment of hepatitis B virus (HBV), following successful treatment in primates. It will involve oral administration of specific hepatitis B proteins and is designed to control the antiviral immune response to HBV.

¿ GeneTrace Systems Inc., of Alameda, Calif., received two small business innovation research grants. One is for further development of high-throughput single nucleotide polymorphism technology; the other is for work in gene expression analysis.

¿ Idun Pharmaceuticals Inc., of La Jolla, Calif., said it began investigative research into modulation of plant cell death pathways using non-plant genes. Leveraging its expertise in human apoptosis, or programmed cell death, Idun intends to develop genetically modified products.

¿ IGEN International Inc., of Gaithersburg, Md., said Biogen Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., ordered its M-Series High Throughput Screening System designed to aid in both drug discovery and drug development. The M-Series uses IGEN's Origen technology to provide uniform assay formats to test compound libraries against disease targets.

¿ Kinetek Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Vancouver, British Columbia, said it is accelerating development of two recently discovered compounds affecting integrin linked kinase and protein kinase B. Inhibitors of those kinase proteins affect cellular functions needed for tumor growth. The compounds were discovered using the drug-screening system, KiNet, which uses compound profiling based on functional proteomics to determine the most effective analogues.

¿ Lexicon Genetics Inc., of The Woodlands, Texas, signed its ninth corporate collaboration, this one with Millennium Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., to create genetically engineered mice to validate targets selected by Millennium. Millennium must select an undisclosed minimum number of mice in each of the three years of the deal.

¿ Pharming Healthcare Inc., of Rockville, Md., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Pharming Group N.V., of Leiden, the Netherlands, said it will proceed with its plans for a Virginia-based farm and milk-processing facility to develop blood-clotting proteins derived from the milk of transgenic cattle. The company plans to invest about $37 million over 30 months.

¿ Vysis Inc., of Downers Grove, Ill., acquired the intellectual property portfolio of Houston-based Aprogenex Inc. Privately held Aprogenex holds 12 U.S. patents and several licensed rights related to identification of fetal cells in maternal blood through targeting mRNA. Terms were not disclosed. Vysis said the acquisition bolsters its program to use fetal cells in identifying chromosomal abnormalities.