¿ Ariad Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., completed a Phase I study of its small-molecule drug, AP1903, which is being developed for treating graft-vs.-host disease in transplant patients. There were no drug-related adverse events and it was well tolerated. It was the first trial of an Ariad ARGENT Dimerizer Drug.
¿ CoCensys Inc., of Irvine, Calif., entered into an agreement to sell its position in Cytovia Inc. for $3.3 million. Cytovia was formed last year as a technology spin-off from CoCensys to commercialize apoptosis inhibitor and screening cell technology. Entities affiliated with the venture capital firm Domain Associates LLC purchased the stake. CoCensys also entered into an agreement to repurchase up to $3.18 million of its Series E preferred stock.
¿ Cohesion Technologies, of Palo Alto, Calif., said it generated a thermally stable human Type I collagen and gelatin in yeast, in a proprietary form. The company also generated, along with partner Pharming BV, of Leiden, the Netherlands, a founder transgenic male calf named Columbus with the human procollagen genes present.
¿ ImClone Systems Inc., of New York, will start a second Phase III trial of its lead cancer drug, C225, in patients with advanced squamous cell head-and-neck carcinoma. The news triggered a $3 million milestone from its corporate partner, Merck KgaA, of Darmstadt, Germany. C225, a monoclonal antibody, inhibits activity of epidermal growth factor receptor associated with cancer cell growth in a number of solid tumors. The trial¿s endpoints will be response and time to disease progression.
¿ Medarex Inc., of Annandale, N.J., and Germany-based Schering AG amended their antibody development agreement. Medarex now will use its HuMAb-Mouse technology to produce fully human antibodies to three new antigens. Medarex could receive additional license fees, milestone payments and royalties.
¿ Neurogen Corp., of Branford, Conn., and Pfizer Inc., of New York, further extended their 1995 collaboration on development of obesity drugs that work through the neuropeptide Y transmitter. The one-year extension will fund Neurogen¿s work through October 2000. The companies are working separately on projects involving the GABA neurotransmitter.
¿ Onyx Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Richmond, Calif., expanded its Phase I study of ONYX-015, its lead anticancer agent, to include patients with Barrett¿s esophageal metaplasia, a precursor to esophageal cancer involving localized lesions in the esophagus. The test will evaluate the safety, maximum tolerated dose and biological activity of ONYX-015 when administered via intralumenal lavage. ONYX-015 is a genetically engineered adenovirus that has been shown to replicate in and kill tumor cells.
¿ PathoGenesis Corp., of Seattle, has started selling TOBI (tobramycin solution for inhalation) in Canada. TOBI, the first aerosolized antibiotic solution approved by the Health Protection Branch of Canada, is marketed for the management of cystic fibrosis patients with chronic pulmonary Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections. TOBI also is approved in the U.S.
¿ Ribozyme Pharmaceuticals Inc. (RPI), of Boulder, Colo., reported that Eli Lilly and Co., of Indianapolis, purchased $7.5 million of RPI stock as part of its agreement to develop ribozymes for the treatment of hepatitis C. As part of the agreement, RPI could eventually receive up to $38 million in pre-product revenues.
¿ SuperGen Inc., of San Ramon, Calif., has more than doubled the number of cancer centers participating in its Phase III trial of RFS 2000, its proprietary drug to treat pancreatic cancer. SuperGen added 75 clinics operated by Dallas-based Physician Reliance Network, bringing the total number of centers to 132.
¿ Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., of Jerusalem, reported that the Swiss Intercantonal Medicines Control office approved Copaxone for the treatment of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. Although Copaxone is licensed in 13 other countries, this is the drug¿s first Western European approval.