¿ Alza Corp., of Palo Alto, Calif., reported that its new drug submission for DitropanXL (oxybutynin chloride) extended-release tablets was accepted for review in Canada for the relief of overactive bladder. Ditropan XL was approved in the U.S. in December as the only once-a-day treatment for overactive bladder.

¿ Avanir Pharmaceuticals, of San Diego, submitted to the FDA additional evidence about the effectiveness of docosanol cream for the treatment of oral-facial herpes. The company will meet with the FDA the third week in March concerning its new drug application, which was deemed ¿not approvable¿ by the agency in December. At that time, the FDA said it needed additional evidence to substantiate the efficacy.

¿ Centocor Inc., of Malvern, Pa., and Pharmacia & Upjohn (P&U), of Bridgewater, N.J., entered an agreement to co-promote P&U¿s Fragmin (dalteparin sodium) in the U.S. Under the terms, Centocor will promote Fragmin to cardiovascular specialists across the U.S., after marketing clearance by the FDA for the drug for the treatment of unstable angina. Further terms were not disclosed.

¿ CytRx Corp., of Atlanta, reported that Phase I interim results of Flocor (purified poloxamer 188) in sickle cell disease patients with acute chest syndrome demonstrated safety in patients ages 4 to 38. The data showed that doses up to 200 milligrams per kilogram of body weight for one hour plus 60 milligrams per kilogram of body weight for 23 hours were safe in these patients. The next dose level, of 200 milligrams per kilogram of body weight for one hour plus 80 milligrams per kilogram of body weight for 23 hours, is being enrolled.

¿ Genzyme Molecular Oncology, of Framingham, Mass., started a Phase I/II trial to assess the safety, efficacy and potency of a cancer vaccine for melanoma. The vaccine utilizes dendritic cells and combines two of the most widely expressed melanoma tumor antigens, MelanA/ MART1 and gp100. Approximately 24 patients with stage IV metastatic melanoma will be enrolled in the study, which is expected to be completed in 2000. Genzyme Molecular Oncology is a division of Genzyme Corp., of Cambridge, Mass.

¿ Kemin Biotechnology LC, of Des Moines, Iowa, formed an alliance with InterLink Associates Inc., of Auburn, Calif., for exclusive access to InterLink¿s microbial and soil sample collections for the isolation of genes that code for novel enzymes for feed and certain food uses. The alliance will strengthen Kemin¿s microbial genetic engineering and biochemical screening capabilities, and provide a platform of genetic diversity from which to source new genes. The deal involves an exclusive research contract with InterLink that includes targeted strain isolation and biochemical characterization at InterLink¿s research facility. Kemin Biotechnology is a subsidiary of Kemin Industries Inc., also of Des Moines.

¿ Lorus Therapeutics, of Toronto, reported independent confirmation by the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the in vitro anticancer activity of its novel compounds currently under development. As a result, the NCI will conduct further testing of those compounds for anticancer efficacy in animal models, and Lorus expects to file an investigational new drug application for a Phase I trial by the end of the first quarter of 2000.

¿ Metra Biosystems Inc., of Mountain View, Calif., signed a letter of agreement and entered into an initial 30-day period of exclusivity with an unnamed party to negotiate a definitive agreement to sell the company.

¿ Pharmos Corp., of Iselin, N.J., has strengthened its research and development unit in order to allow management to focus greater attention on development and commercialization activities, particularly on dexanabinal, currently in Phase II trials for the treatment of severe head trauma. As part of the strategy, Pharmos expanded the position of vice president of research and development into two posts and added a new position, vice president of clinical and regulatory affairs.

¿ Steroidogenesis Inhibitors International, of Las Vegas, and the AIDS Research Alliance, of West Hollywood, Calif., started an HIV treatment study with Anticort, an anticortisol, immunomodulator drug. Anticort will be administered under different regimens to ascertain its safety and clinical effectiveness, as well as to determine the potential effect on various immune systems.

¿ Zila Inc., of Phoenix, will amend its new drug application (NDA) for the oral-cancer detection product OraTest, as a result of meetings with the FDA. Zila said it will contract with a research group for an additional clinical study, which is expected to take about four months. Upon completion of the study, Zila will use the resulting data in its planned NDA amendment.