¿ Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Diego, selected the trademark Symlin for use with the acetate salt form of its drug candidate, pramlintide, which is being developed for diabetes.
¿ Aronex Pharmaceuticals Inc., of The Woodlands, Texas, expanded the development program for Annamycin by beginning a Phase I/II trial of the liposomal anthracycline in patients with refractory or relapsed leukemia.
¿ Bio-Technology General Corp., of Iselin, N.J., entered into research and license agreements with Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Yeda Research and Development Co. Ltd., the licensing arm of The Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel. The deal with MGH relates to an anticancer approach using a plasminogen-related peptide that may have anti-angiogenic and anticancer properties. The deal with the Weizmann relates to development of peptide-based vaccines for cancer.
¿ Cell Therapeutics Inc., of Seattle, completed initial enrollment of 200 patients and the required follow-up period needed for the first interim analysis in a pivotal Phase II/III clinical trial of lisofylline for acute lung injury and acute respiratory distress syndrome. The trial involves patients who require mechanical ventilation. The interim analysis is scheduled for May 27.
¿ Cypress Biosciences Inc., of San Diego, said Fresenius AG, of Bad Hamburg, Germany, exercised its option to buy the Prosorba column manufacturing facility and related assets in Redmond, Wash. Fresenius had made an interest-free line of credit available to Cypress and paid another $1.2 million to exercise that option. The German company has a license to distribute the column.
¿ Hoffmann-La Roche Inc., of Nutley, N.J., said the FDA granted marketing approval to Xenical (orlistat), a prescription lipase inhibitor that acts by blocking the absorption of dietary fat by about one-third. It is indicated for obesity management.
¿ Immunomedics Inc., of Morris Plains, N.J., said it is negotiating to restructure its Series F preferred financing to avoid potential dilution in June by extending the date on which the shares may first be converted.
¿ Maxygen Inc., of Redwood City, Calif., obtained a worldwide license from the California Institute of Technology for the Staggered Extension Process directed evolution technology. The company also entered into a collaboration with a developer of the technology, Frances Arnold.
¿ Megabios Corp., of Burlingame, Calif., acquired rights and intellectual property related to the del-1 gene from Progenitor Inc., of Menlo Park, Calif., for a one-time cash payment. It also has a milestone and royalty obligation to Vanderbilt University in Nashville. Del-1 is an extracellular matrix protein involved in early growth and development of blood vessels and bone, and has angiogenesis-stimulating properties.
¿ Nabi, of Boca Raton, Fla., said a preliminary analysis of a Phase I/II trial of Nabi-Altastaph in neonates showed there are no safety issues related to infusions of high-titer antibodies to Staphylococcus aureus. The product is a highly purified 5 percent hyperimmune globulin containing high levels of functional opsonic antibody to S. aureus.
¿ Pharmacyclics Inc., of Sunnyvale, Calif., completed enrollment of 50 patients in a Phase I study of Antrin photoangioplasty for treatment of atherosclerotic peripheral arterial disease. Interim results showed 12 of 14 evaluable patients responded to treatment, which was defined as an increase of more than 10 percent in the blood vessel opening or minimal luminal diameter.
¿ Vion Pharmaceuticals Inc., of New Haven, Conn., and EPTTCO Ltd., of Abingdon, U.K., are collaborating to develop new cancer treatments based on arming Vion¿s Tapet bacterial vectors with EPTTCO¿s prodrug activation technology, which uses enzymes to convert inactive prodrugs into cytotoxic anticancer agents. The bacterial vectors showed in preclinical studies the ability to target and grow in solid tumors. The companies will contribute equally to the effort.