* Advanced Tissue Sciences Inc., of La Jolla, Calif., reported positive data on the ability of a human fibroblast-based, tissue-engineered product to secrete vascular endothelial growth factor, along with other angiogenesis-inducing growth factors. The combined results showed a statistically significant increase in functional angiogenesis in the chorio-allantoic membrane assay and the rat aortic ring assay, and in endothelialization in the cytodex-2 bead assay.
* AVI Biopharma Inc., of Portland, Ore., reported positive preclinical data for Resten-NG, an antisense comound designed to inhibit restenosis. The drug prevented balloon-induced restenosis in rabbits with atherosclerotic vascular disease resulting from a high-cholesterol diet. "With this promising data in hand, AVI intends to complete GMP manufacturing and GLP pre-clinical pharmacology and toxicology studies by the end of the second quarter of 1999," said Denis Burger, president and CEO.
* Ekos Corp., of Bothell, Wash., launched a Phase I trial at the University of Rochester Medical Center to evaluate the company's drug-delivery technology in the treatment of acute peripheral arterial occlusion. The study will assess the system for simultaneously administering ultrasound and a clot-dissolving drug directly into the area of blockage. Preclinical research, Ekos said, suggests the ultrasound-drug combination may be more effective than the use of drug alone.