¿ Affymetrix Inc., of Santa Clara, Calif., and Smith Kline Beecham plc (SKB), of London, entered into two agreements. In the first deal, Affymetrix granted SKB a license to certain of its patents to permit SKB to make and use mechanically fabricated nucleic acid arrays for gene expression monitoring experiments. In exchange for the license, SKB will pay an annual usage fee linked to the number of array-based experiments performed. The two companies also entered into an EasyAccess Silver agreement, under which SKB will gain preferential access to Affymetrix¿s standard and custom GeneChip arrays, instrumentation and software to monitor gene expression for use in its pharmaceutical research and development activities.
¿ Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc., of New Haven, Conn., completed preliminary analysis of its Phase I/II study of 5G1.1, its anti-inflammatory complement inhibitor drug, in rheumatoid arthritis patients. The results showed the drug was well tolerated, provided a potent biologic effect and was associated with a significant reduction in a validated measurement of clinical disease activity.
¿ Cell Genesys Inc., of Foster City, Calif., and Mitotix Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., expanded their worldwide license and research collaboration to include cancer gene therapy. Under the original 1998 deal, Cell Genesys exclusively licensed from Mitotix a series of cell cycle inhibitors, including p16, p27 and p27/16 fusion molecules, for the development of products for cardiovascular gene therapy. As a result of positive preclinical results, Cell Genesys has exclusive rights to these genes for cancer applications. The p16 and p27 cell cycle inhibitor genes, also known as cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors, play a role in the natural regulation of cellular division.
¿ Cognetix Inc., of Salt Lake City, received an $800,000 Phase II small business innovation research grant from the National Institutes of Health to advance high-throughput assay and functional characterization technologies. Specifically, the grant will support development of quantitative fluorescent imaging techniques and test kits for defining physiological activities of agents in live cell assays.
¿ Collateral Therapeutics, of San Diego, said an advanced preclinical study showed nonsurgical gene therapy represents a viable approach for congestive heart failure. The company said it showed the AC-6 gene can be delivered using an adenovirus. Collateral anticipates starting human studies in the first half of next year.
¿ Cypress Bioscience Inc., of San Diego, raised $5.2 million as a result of about 2.6 million of the approximately 2.8 million outstanding publicly traded warrants being exercised. The proceeds will help support the marketing of the Prosorba column, a medical device for use in the therapeutic reduction of the signs and symptoms of moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis. The FDA approved the column last month.
¿ DepoMed Inc., of Foster City, Calif., reported that Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., of New York, would not exercise a license and development option to use its Gastric Retention System for an undisclosed pharmaceutical product. DepoMed¿s stock (AMEX:DMI) fell 67 percent Tuesday, closing at $4.562, down 9.437.
¿ Genta Inc., of Lexington, Mass., entered into a cooperative research and development agreement with the National Cancer Institute for the development of Genta¿s G3139 compound as an anticancer agent. G3139 is designed to act against the bcl-2 gene and prevent it from triggering the production of disease-related protein. It has been implicated in prostate cancer, non-Hodgkin¿s lymphoma, melanoma and cancers of the breast, colon, lung and others.
¿ The Immune Response Corp., of Carlsbad, Calif., received a $5 million payment from Agouron Pharmaceuticals Inc., of La Jolla, Calif., marking the third of six quarterly payments due from their collaboration for final development and commercialization of Remune for treating HIV. The payment included $3 million to cover research and development expenses and $2 million for Immune Response stock at a premium price.
¿ Nabi, of Boca Raton, Fla., said results of animal studies showed its experimental conjugate vaccine generated elevated levels of high-affinity antibodies to nicotine, preventing nicotine from reaching receptors in the brain. Detailed findings have been submitted for publication.
¿ Novo Nordisk A/S, of Bagsvaerd, Denmark, submitted a new drug application seeking approval of Novolin 85/15 PenFill cartridges for treating diabetes.
¿ PE Biosystems, of Hayward, Calif., and Aclara BioSciences Inc., of Foster City, Calif., entered into an agreement to develop systems for the high-throughput screening of drug candidates in the broad areas of pharmaceutical discovery and agricultural research. Terms were not revealed.
¿ Xyris Corp., of San Diego, signed a letter of intent to merge with the privately held Global Agro Inc., of San Diego, a plant science company. The all-stock transaction will result in the creation of a newly named agricultural biotech company, Akkadix Corp. The merger is expected to close within 60 days.