¿ Advance Tissues Sciences Inc., of La Jolla Calif., reported that Smith & Nephew plc, of London, its partner in its Dermagraft and cartilage joint ventures, doubled its equity position to 8 percent. Smith & Nephew gave a $10 million loan to the company, which was converted into about 2.8 million shares of the company's common stock.
¿ Biosyn Inc., of Philadelphia, closed an $8.5 million private financing deal comprised of $7 million in equity financing plus $1.5 million of debt converted into common stock. The funds will help clinical development of its products. Pincus Equity Partners, a private equity investment fund managed by E.M. Warburg, Pincus & Co., LLC, of New York, led the transaction.
¿ Cell Genesys Inc., of Foster City, Calif., earned a $4.5 million milestone payment from the pharmaceutical division of Japan Tobacco Inc., of Osaka, Japan, for completing an initial Phase I/II trial of GVAX prostate cancer vaccine.
¿ Cerus Corp., of Concord, Calif., treated the first patient in a Phase I trial of its allogeneic cellular immune therapy system, which is being developed to improve engraftment of the donor bone marrow. The study is designed to enroll 30 patients who will receive treated donor T cells as an adjunct to half-matched bone marrow transplants.
¿ CV Therapeutics Inc., of Palo Alto, Calif., said results from a Phase II trial of ranolazine were published in the July 1 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology. The study showed the drug may increase exercise time in chronic unstable angina patients, and clarified divergent findings from earlier studies.
¿ EntreMed Inc., of Rockville, Md., extended its sponsored research agreement with Judah Folkman's laboratory at Children's Hospital in Boston. EntreMed will continue to fund certain projects and have rights to the discoveries. Also, scientists in the lab will provide support to upcoming trials of the angiogenesis inhibitors Angiostatin and Endostatin.
¿ Incyte Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Palo Alto, Calif., expanded and extended its agreement with F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd., of Basel, Switzerland, and its U.S. subsidiary to include granting access to its LifeSeq Gold and ZooSeq animal model databases, and continued access to the LifeSeq Atlas mapping database. Incyte will get annual access fees and potential milestones and royalties. Incyte also said it reached agreement in principle with AstraZeneca plc, of London, on extending and expanding their agreement in a similar fashion.
¿ LifeTime Pharmaceuticals, of Silver Spring, Md., and collaborators reported that a Phase I/II trial of Beta LT (beta-alethine), testing its anticancer and immune system-boosting properties in multiple myeloma patients, has enrolled three post-bone marrow transplant patients. No adverse events or side effects were reported, and preliminary data indicated effects on certain immune parameters and the levels of protein produced by the cancer cells.
¿ Medinox Inc., of San Diego will start Phase I/II trial of NOX-100, its nitric oxide neutralizer, for the treatment of intradialytic hypotension, the episode of low blood pressure that occurs during routine hemodialysis in end-stage renal disease patients. The trial will start this month at the University of California, in San Diego.
¿ Neocrin Co., of Irvine, Calif., acquired an option to enter into a worldwide license to technology from CellMart Inc., of Reno, Nev., for expanding human islet cells for the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of diabetes. The technology involves methods of inducing proliferation and creating culture conditions to encourage cells to expand while maintaining normal physiology.
¿ Phase-1 Molecular Toxicology Inc., of Santa Fe, N.M., raised $3.5 million in venture capital equity financing. Principal investors were TD Origen Capital Fund, of Santa Fe, and TD Javelin Capital Fund, of Birmingham, Ala., both managed by Tullis-Dickerson.
¿ Progen Industries Ltd., of Brisbane, Australia, received FDA approval to start Phase I trials with PI-88 in cancer patients. PI-88 prevents cancer cells from burrowing through blood vessels, so that they die and are washed away in the blood stream. The trials will take place in Australia.
¿ Techniclone Corp., of Tustin, Calif., said its Phase I trial of Cotara in various solid tumors, as well as assessing safety, demonstrated specific uptake in brain tumors and shrunk or stabilized them in half of the 12 patients. Results will be presented at an Oct. 3-5 conference in Sapporo, Japan.