¿ Antex Biologics, of Gaithersburg, Md., reported that preclinical studies showed its vaccine generated a cellular and humoral immune response in animals and protected against infertility caused by Chlamydia trachomatis, the most prevalent sexually transmitted pathogen in the U.S. The company has identified a novel protein that is being evaluated as a recombinant subunit vaccine in preclinical models.

¿ BioPhysics Assay Laboratory Inc., of Wellesley, Mass., received a Phase I SBIR grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, a division of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. The grant will fund the in vivo measurement of regional blood flow by a novel neutron activation-based technology.

¿ Cell Pathways Inc., of Horsham, Pa., started an open-label Phase II efficacy study of exisulind as a treatment for precancerous colon polyps in children with adenomatous polyposis coli (APC). The pediatric expansion resulted from preliminary Phase I studies in six children that showed it was safe to use and warranted further study. The company still is evaluating its Phase III date of exisulind in adults with APC, which suggested the drug did not give a statistically significant clinical response when compared to a placebo.

¿ Copernicus Therapeutics Inc., of Cleveland, received a grant of up to $250,000 from the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health to support the development of its REPLIsome delivery technologies, which enable control over the dose and duration of gene therapy products. The REPLIsome Vectors are being developed for the treatment of diseases such as cancer and cystic fibrosis.

¿ Celera Genomics, of Rockville, Md., reported that Celera AgGen, of Davis, Calif., its agricultural business, entered into a three-year agreement with RhoBio SA, of Evry, France, to use expression studies to discover genes related to traits in maize. RhoBio is a joint venture between Rhone Poulenc Agro, of Lyon, France, and Biogemma, of Paris. Celera Genomics is a business unit of The Perkin-Elmer Corp., of Norwalk, Conn. In addition, Celera AgGen acquired 49 percent of the equity of Agrogen, of Moissy-Cramayel, France, an agricultural DNA testing laboratory. The investment allows Celera AgGen to extend its automated DNA sequencing and genotyping services to European agricultural markets.

¿ Genzyme Transgenics Corp., of Framingham, Mass., and Millennium BioTherapeutics Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., will collaborate on two projects using Millennium¿s expertise in drug discovery and Genzyme¿s in transgenically produced drugs. Genzyme will help Millennium develop certain proteins and antibodies. Specific terms and targets were not disclosed.

¿ Geron Corp., of Menlo Park, Calif., reached an agreement with Clontech Laboratories Inc., of Palo Alto, Calif., under which Clontech will market cell lines immortalized with the enzyme telomerase. Clontech will produce and sell product to the non-profit research market. It also will supply products to commercial customers under licenses executed with Geron. Clontech will pay Geron an up-front fee and the companies will share equally in profits.

¿ MethylGene Inc., of Montreal, started a Phase I trial of MG98, a novel cancer therapeutic. MG98 is a second-generation antisense oligonucleotide that inhibits messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) produced by the DNA methyltransferase gene. The trials will utilize an accelerated dose-escalating design and will be conducted in collaboration with the Clinical Trials Group of the National Cancer Institue of Canada, in Kingston, Ontario.

¿ Palatin Technologies Inc., of Princeton, N.J., completed enrollment of all 204 patients in a Phase III trial of LeuTech, a radiolabeled infection imaging agent. The trial is specific for difficult-to-diagnose appendicitis. Results are expected in mid-April.

¿ Structural Bioinformatics Inc., of San Diego, received a milestone payment related to its collaboration with Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., of Tokyo, in the area of protein targets for inflammation. Structural Bioinformatics used its protein modeling and DynaPharm technologies to find small-molecule leads starting from the gene sequence of the undisclosed protein target.

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