¿ Ariad Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., extended the deadline for its common stock purchase warrants until Dec. 30. The warrants are exercisable at $8.40 per share. The extension was due to an amendment to the warrant agreement between Ariad and the State Street Bank and Trust Co., of Boston, which is serving as the warrant agent.
¿ Chiroscience Group plc, of Cambridge, U.K., reported that its drug discovery business discovered a gene that may prove to be a turning point in the development of osteoporosis treatments. Chiroscience R&D, of Seattle, identified a novel gene coding for a protein that appears to be involved in the control of bone density. This bone mass gene is altered in all patients suffering from sclerosteosis, a rare bone growth disorder.
¿ CytRx Corp., of Atlanta, said the FDA granted expedited development status for Flocor, a treatment for sickle cell disease. The drug (purified poloxamer 188), an intravenous solution, is in Phase III trials for the treatment of acute sickle cell crisis.
¿ Enzo Biochem, of Farmingdale, N.Y., reported that its immune-modulation technology was successful in controlling the antiviral immune response to hepatitis B in laboratory studies. The company intends to start human trials soon.
¿ LXR Biotechnology Inc., of Richmond, Calif., said the FDA has allowed the investigational new drug (IND) application for CP-Cardiosol, its investigational product for the protection of cardiac tissue during cardiopulmonary bypass surgery. The IND was submitted in March 1998.
¿ Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp., of East Hanover, N.J., completed enrollment of 5,005 patients in the Valsartan Heart Failure Trial, a multinational morbidity and mortality study on Diovan (valsartan) for the treatment of chronic congestive heart failure. The trial is examining the advantages of using Diovan, an angiotensin II receptor blocker, in combination with standard therapies. The trial should conclude next year.
¿ Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Tarrytown, N.Y., reported that researchers from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., said neurotrophin-3 accelerated gastrointestinal and colonic transit in a study of healthy volunteers and those who were constipated. The research is being conducted by Amgen-Regeneron Partners, with additional small clinical studies being done in patients with constipation related to spinal cord injury, Parkinson¿s disease and other medical conditions.
¿ SafeScience Inc., of Boston, reported preclinical results of GBC-590, its complex carbohydrate compound for prostate cancer treatment, showed the drug produced a significant response, including compete tumor shrinkage and arrest of tumor growth.
¿ SangStat Medical Corp., of Menlo Park, Calif., introduced the SangCya Price Guarantee Program. Patients participating are guaranteed for three years from the date of registration the same price for SangCya oral solution that was paid at the time of enrollment. Currently, only patients who pay for their own medication are eligible to participate.
¿ Triangle Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Durham, N.C., presented preliminary data from a completed Phase I/II dose-escalation study of Coviracil (emtricitabine), an antiviral nucleoside analogue. The data showed Coviracil has potent antiviral activity in patients chronically infected with the hepatitis B virus.
¿ Vivus Inc., of Mountain View, Calif., signed an agreement with Bio-Medic Institute Inc. for the commercialization of Muse (alprostadil) in Japan. Vivus will receive a $5 million up-front payment, while BMI will assume responsibility for all clinical and regulatory activities in Japan.