¿ Megabios Corp., of Burlingame, Calif., announced publication of data demonstrating inhibition of tumor growth and metastases by intramuscular administration of an anti-angiogenic gene medicine in tumor models. The protein angiostatin was expressed from the muscle and secreted into the blood. Results were published in the April issue of Nature Biotechnology. Megabios and Gene-Medicine Inc., of The Woodlands, Texas, have merged and are changing the combined company¿s name to Valentis Inc.
¿ EntreMed Inc., of Rockville, Md., entered into a four-year Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with the National Cancer Institute to advance development of the angiogenesis inhibitor and anticancer agent 2-methoxyestradiol. They will work together on preclinical studies and anticipated trials of the small-molecule estrogen derivative.
¿ Nanogen Inc., of San Diego, said the cover story in the April issue of Nature Biotechnology describes advances in its single nucleotide polymorphism discrimination technology, showing use of microchips to identify variants of the mannose binding protein gene that differ from one another by only a single DNA base.
¿ Biomatrix Inc., of Ridgefield, N.J., said its board approved a 2-for-1 split of its common shares. The record date is April 16, 1999. Also, the company said it shipped its knee pain product Synvisc to U.S. marketing partner, Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories, from its new manufacturing plant in Ridgefield.
¿ Delsys Pharmaceutical Corp., of Princeton, N.J., entered into a collaboration with the R.W. Johnson Pharmaceutical Research Institute (PRI) to use Delsys¿ novel Accudep technology to develop and manufacture solid oral dosage forms for a number of Johnson & Johnson compounds. PRI is a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, of New Brunswick, N.J. Delsys will receive an undisclosed equity investment as well as research and development support, milestone payments and royalties on product sales. Accudep is a highly controlled electrostatic powder deposition process that permits a drug¿s active ingredient to be deposited in precise quantities at high speed onto a variety of surfaces.
¿ American Biogenetic Sciences Inc., of Copiague, N.Y., completed development of a rapid point-of-care version of its Thrombus Precursor Protein (TpP) test to detect blood-clot formation and will now start clinical trials. The trials will determine if the device is effective in both identifying and ruling out the presence of life-threatening blood clots in conditions such as myocardial infarction, deep-vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.
¿ Corixa Corp., of Seattle, released interim Phase I results of Leishmania elongation Initiation Factor (LeIF), its proprietary vaccine adjuvant, to increase the efficacy of a T- cell vaccine formulated to treat drug-resistant mucosal leishmaniasis. The LeIF-enhanced vaccine led to noted improvement in eight out of 12 patients treated for the L. braziliensis form of Leishmaniasis, an often fatal disease spread by sandflies. LeIF is a protein derived from the Leishmania parasite that has been found to stimulate and enhance immune responses to antigens, including tumor antigens.
¿ Cortex Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Irvine, Calif., was issued a U.S. patent covering two claims for the use of AMPA-receptor modulating compounds, regardless of structure, to improve memory and cognition. The company¿s stock (OTC:CORX) jumped 56 percent, closing Tuesday at 50 cents. The patent is No. 5,891,876.
¿ Pharmacia & Upjohn, of Bridgewater, N.J., ordered the M-Series High Throughput Drug Discovery System for its drug discovery program from Igen International Inc., of Gaithersburg, Md. The M-Series is based on the electrochemiluminescence module, which is the second generation of Igen¿s Origen technology. Financial terms were not disclosed.
¿ ProScript Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., received a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop a new class of proteasome inhibitors. The grant will support the development of PS-519, for the treatment of stroke and reperfusion injury. In animal trials, PS-519 has significantly decreased the tissue damage associated with stroke and improved neurological outcome when given four hours after a stroke.