¿ Aurora Biosciences Inc., of San Diego, exclusively licensed, with an option to sublicense, the membrane potential assay technologies described in U.S. patent 4,343,782. The patent includes methods of performing bioassays by optically measuring membrane potential in cells.

¿ Boston Life Sciences Inc., of Boston, said results of a completed Phase II trial with the radio-imaging agent Altropane for the early diagnosis of Parkinson¿s disease showed a 10-minute image could accurately differentiate normal subjects from those with early Parkinson¿s. In the trial, 24 patients with the clinical diagnosis of early Parkinson¿s and 12 patients without the disease underwent Altropane-SPECT brain scans.

¿ Celsion Corp., of Columbia, Md., signed an option agreement with Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, in New York, for the exclusive worldwide license to a patent-pending technology relating to a heat-activated biological modifier for cancer treatment. The modifier is designed to improve the effectiveness and lower the treatment dose for chemotherapy, heat and radiation treatment of localized cancers.¿ Gilead Sciences Inc., of Foster City, Calif., presented the first of its clinical data on adefovir dipivoxil, which showed it had potent antiviral activity in patients with chronic hepatitis B infection who have failed antiviral therapy with lamivudine due to the development of resistance mutations. The results will be presented at the 34th annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of the Liver in Naples, Italy.

¿ IGT Pharma, of Vancouver, British Columbia, reported that the Science Council of British Columbia awarded it a Technology BC industry grant to develop a novel class of podophyllotoxin analogs as new anticancer agents for the treatment of various cancers, including those that are multidrug resistant.

¿ Matritech Inc., of Newton, Mass., said it closed a previously announced private placement of about three million shares of common stock for an aggregate price of about $4 million, with net proceeds of about $3.9 million.

¿ Molecumetics Ltd., of Seattle, and Asahi Chemical Industry Co., of Tokyo, signed a multi-year research collaboration utilizing Molecumetics¿ Smart library technology for the discovery and development of small-molecule drugs for a variety of therapeutic areas. The new agreement replaced a 1997 collaboration between the two firms that focused on orally active inhibitors of Factor VIIa. The companies will select multiple molecular targets to pursue in the therapeutic areas of the central nervous system, cardiovascular inflammation and metabolism. Molecumetics will receive undisclosed research funding, milestone payments and royalties on product sales. Asahi has the exclusive right to develop and sell the resulting compounds in Japan and other Asian countries.

NuOncology Labs Inc., of Virginia Beach, Va., will present data showing that its lead cancer treatment, Arglabin, inhibits farnesyl transferase, an enzyme critical to the function of the Ras oncogene in cancer cell reproduction and tumor growth. The data will be presented at the annual conference of the American Association for Cancer Research, in Philadelphia.

¿ NeXstar Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Boulder, Colo., said it signed an agreement with Fujisawa Pharmaceutical Co., of Osaka, Japan, to identify an aptamer ¿ the product of NeXstar¿s SELEX process ¿ as a therapeutic drug candidate to a target of interest to Fujisawa. NeXstar will use its SELEX process against an immunology target and will receive undisclosed funding. Fujisawa has an exclusive option period, once the aptamer has been delivered, in which to conduct preclinical testing of the aptamer.

¿ OXO Chemie Inc., a South San Francisco subsidiary of Switzerland-based OXO Chemie AG, got approval to add sites in Canada for its ongoing Phase III trial of WF10, an adjunctive therapy in late-stage AIDS patients. The drug targets macrophage function.

¿ Neurocrine Biosciences Inc., of San Diego, completed a Phase Ib study of NBI-34060, a GABA receptor subtype agonist designed to induce sleep, with a better side effect profile than existing insomnia drugs. It was safe and well-tolerated across a wide dose range. The company is finalizing the design for a Phase II study.