¿ Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Diego, completed a Phase I trial of T-82, an acetylcholine enhancer, in healthy, elderly volunteers. Based on preclinical studies, the company selected Alzheimer¿s disease as its first disease target.
¿ Centocor Inc., of Malvern, Pa., will sponsor a Crohn¿s patient registry designed to capture clinical, economic and safety data on current treatments for Crohn¿s disease. The registry, called TREAT (Crohn¿s Therapy, Resource, Evaluation and Assessment Tool), will collect outcome data associated with Crohn¿s pharmacotherapy to give to physicians. Initially, 500 U.S. physicians will participate, each enrolling up to 20 patients with moderate to severe disease.
¿ F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG, of Frankfurt, Germany, said it was demonstrated that Pegasys (peginterferon alfa-2a), when administered weekly in cirrhotic patients, reached the same blood levels as in non-cirrhotic patients. Pegasys is a longer-lasting form of interferon.
¿ Inflazyme Pharmaceuticals Ltd., of Richmond, British Columbia, signed its $91 million collaborative agreement to develop two series of compounds for the treatment of asthma and allergies with Hoechst Marion Roussel AG, of Frankfurt, Germany. The compounds are Inflazyme¿s PIL 576 series and HMR¿s H1/NK1 dual antagonists. The deal was announced in February. (See BioWorld Today, Feb. 10, 1999, p. 1.)
¿ IntroGene BV, of Leiden, the Netherlands, signed a licensing agreement with SyStemix Inc., an affiliate of the Novartis Group, of Basel, Switzerland. SyStemix will license IntroGene¿s PER.C6 adenoviral packaging cell in exchange for undisclosed up-front fees, annual payments and royalties on sales.
¿ Ribi ImmunoChem Research Inc., of Hamilton, Mont., said that RGC International Investors LDC converted 1,000 shares of its Series A preferred stock into 666,214 shares of its common stock. RGC still holds 7,240 Series A shares.
¿ Sepracor Inc., of Marlborough, Mass., reported that Johnson & Johnson, of New Brunswick, N.J., will not exercise its option to co-promote norastemizole, a third- generation nonsedating antihistamine being developed for seasonal and perennial allergic rhinitis. Sepracor will continue to fund clinical development and marketing for the drug, which is in Phase III trials.