¿ Alza Corp., of Palo Alto., Calif., said its acquisition of Sequus Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Menlo Park, Calif., closed after Sequus shareholders approved the deal. Sequus stockholders will receive 0.4 of a share of Alza for each Sequus share held. (See BioWorld Today, Special Bulletin, Oct. 5, 1998.)
¿ Biojet Medical Technologies Inc., of Portland, Ore., started Phase I trials with Vaxid, a DNA-based vaccine for the treatment of lymphoma using the Biojector 2000 jet injector as a delivery system. The Biojector 2000 will be compared with needle and syringe delivery. The study will be sponsored by Vical Inc., of San Diego, and conducted at Stanford University Medical Center.
¿ Boston Life Sciences Inc., of Boston, reported that twice-weekly, relatively low doses of its anti-angiogenic protein, Troponin I, significantly suppressed experimental lung metastases in 300 animals with metastatic melanoma. Troponin I had previously been shown to inhibit primary cancers in animals. The data were published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
¿ The ChiRex Technology Center, of Stamford, Conn., signed an exclusive licensing agreement with Harvard University, of Cambridge, Mass., that grants ChiRex, a wholly owned subsidiary of ChiRex Inc., exclusive rights to use of Amino Acid Technology for pharmaceutical and agrochemical applications.
¿ CombiChem Inc. and Chromagen Inc., both of San Diego, entered into an assay development and drug screening agreement in which Chromagen will develop biological assays and screen CombiChem compounds for multiple targets used in CombiChem¿s drug-discovery program. Chromagen will receive research support and a percentage of future payments received by CombiChem upon outlicensing of any drug candidates.
¿ GeneMedicine Inc., of The Woodlands, Texas, received two Small Business Innovation Research grants totaling $790,691 from the NIH to fund the development of improved tissue-specific, gene therapy expression systems. One of the grants will go toward finding an optimal promoter to be used with a human VEGF expression plasmid, for ischemia.
¿ InKine Pharmaceutical Co. Inc., of Blue Bell, Pa., completed enrollment of 400 patients in its Phase III trial of Diacol (INKP-100), which is being developed as an oral purgative agent for adults undergoing colonoscopic evaluation. It is the first of two pivotal studies of Diacol.
¿ Insmed Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Richmond, Va., reported favorable preliminary efficacy data on its Phase II study of INS-1 for Type II diabetes. Following drug treatment, all 110 subjects reported an improvement in parameters for glycemic control and lipid profile but not significant body weight gain. The company will start longer Phase II studies this year. In addition, the company received a $747,000 Small Business Innovation Research Phase II award from the NIH to continue evaluating INS-1 in polycystic ovary syndrome.
¿ Progen Industries Limited, of Brisbane, Australia, completed its Phase I healthy volunteer trial of the cancer drug PI-88 in the U.K. and now plans to conduct a Phase I cancer trial in the U.S. PI-88 is designed to inhibit the growth of new blood vessels to cancers and prevent the spread of cancer cells to other parts of the body.
¿ Shaman Pharmaceuticals Inc., of South San Francisco, has reabsorbed Shaman Botanicals Inc., a previously wholly owned subsidiary, and will not use its new subsidiary to market its botanical products. As a result, there is no need to transfer assets and Shaman has canceled a proxy statement. The company will now focus on raising additional funds and commercializing its botanical products, which will be marketed by a division named Shaman Botanicals.