Abgenix Inc., of Fremont, Calif., filed an investigational new drug application for a Phase I trial to test its human monoclonal antibody, ABX-EGF, on 30 cancer patients. ABX-EGF targets human epidermal growth factor receptors (EGFr) overexpressed on many tumors. Genentech Inc., of South San Francisco, currently markets a related monoclonal antibody for breast cancer that targets Her-2 of the EGFr family.
Amarillo Biosciences Inc., of Amarillo, Texas, received a $3 million loan from its principal shareholder, Hayashibara Biochemical Laboratories, of Okayama, Japan. Hayashibara will provide $1 million per quarter starting next month, and the loan will be repayable no later than July 22, 2004, or one year after FDA approval is obtained for low- dose oral interferon alpha, which is in Phase III trials for Sjogren's syndrome and expected to be completed next year.
Applied Imaging Corp., of Santa Clara, Calif., purchased the cytogenetic imaging instrumentation business from Vysis Inc., of Downers Grove, Ill. Vysis received about a 4 percent equity stake in Applied Imaging.
Aquila Biopharmaceuticals Inc., of Framingham, Mass., and the University of Wisconsin in Madison started a pivotal study of Quilvax-M, a product designed for use in dairy cows to aid in the control of mastitis caused by bacterial infections.
BTG International Inc., of Gulph Mills, Pa., a subsidiary of London-based BTG plc, licensed a novel gene therapy approach for the treatment of numerous disorders that are known to be associated with excessive production of specific cytokines. These disorders include asthma, allergic symptoms, septic shock syndrome and rheumatoid arthritis. The new approach was develop by scientists at Queen Mary and Westfield College and King's College London.
Genzyme Molecular Oncology, of Framingham, Mass., entered into agreements with the Novartis Agricultural Discovery Institute Inc., of Research Triangle Park, N.C., Monsanto Co., of St. Louis, and others extending use of its Serial Analysis of Gene Expression technology (SAGE) to agricultural research. SAGE is a method that identifies and quantifies genes expressed in a tissue or cell line and has wide applications to agricultural genomics.
Immunex Corp., of Seattle, said the FDA assigned priority review status to its new drug application for an expanded labeling for Novantrone for the treatment of patients with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis. FDA action is expected within six months of the June 7th filing date.
International Isotopes Inc., of Denton, Texas., signed an exclusive worldwide license, extending rights under patents from Endotech Inc., for the manufacture of Palladium-103 brachytherapy seeds for the treatment of prostate cancer.
Nanogen Inc., of San Diego, received a milestone payment from Aventis Research and Technologies for developing microarray platforms and related devices. Aventis is an affiliate of Hoechst AG, of Frankfurt, Germany.
NeoPharm Inc., of Bannockburn, Ill., received a $2 million milestone payment from Pharmacia & Upjohn Inc., of Bridgewater, N.J. The two companies are developing liposomal encapsulated paclitaxel and liposomal encapsulated doxorubicin. (See BioWorld Today, Feb. 23, 1999, p. 1.)