¿ Ariad Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., completed a Phase I clinical study of AP1903, its small-molecule drug for use in graft-vs.-host disease (GvHD), in patients undergoing allogeneic bone marrow or hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. AP1903 will be used with ARGENT gene components as part of Ariad¿s GvHD product. The drug was well tolerated at all dose levels, with no drug-related adverse events.
¿ ArQule Inc., of Medford, Mass., and Roche Bioscience, of Palo Alto, Calif., said the first milestone has been reached in their drug-optimization collaboration, triggering an undisclosed payment to ArQule. Roche has selected a compound from ArQule¿s Directed Array program as an investigational new drug candidate.
¿ BioMatrix Inc., of Ridgefield, N.J., said it will launch Synvisc, for treatment of pain in osteoarthritis of the knee, in Mexico and Peru through its marketing partner, Novartis Pharma AG, of Basel, Switzerland.
¿ Celera Genomics, of Rockville, Md., a unit of Perkin-Elmer Corp., said it has begun to sequence the genome of Drosophila melanogaster, the fruit fly, which will be the first insect genome sequenced and is expected to serve as a model for other insect genomes in medical and agricultural research.
¿ Centocor Inc., of Malvern, Pa., said its Remicade (infliximab) was shown in a study to be highly effective in healing fistulae, which are complications of Crohn¿s disease. Remicade was approved by the FDA in August 1998 for the treatment of moderately to severely active Crohn¿s disease among patients with an inadequate response to conventional therapy.
¿ Cytogen Corp., of Princeton, N.J., reported its first quarter of profitability, with a net profit of $1.7 million. Focusing on longer-range development, the company said it will reorient sales efforts for the ProstaScint prostate cancer imaging agent and further develop the Prostate Specific Membrane Antigen technology, with emphasis on immunotherapy use in prostate and other cancers.
¿ Structural Bioinformatics Inc., of San Diego, disclosed the development of a number of small molecules in multiple chemical classes that bind to the human apoptosis inhibitory protein. The BcL-2 gene product is an important therapeutic target in the apoptosis signaling cascade that prevents the programmed death of malignant cells and thus contributes to the growth and spread of many cancers.