¿ Abgenix Inc., of Fremont, Calif., reported Phase I results of ABX-IL8 in psoriasis showed the compound was safe and well tolerated. ABX-IL8 is a human antibody that binds to interleukin-8, a cytokine involved in unwanted inflammation in a number of diseases, including psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease.

¿ Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc., of New Haven, Conn., completed its reacquisition of the rights to all aspects of its xenotransplantation program that had been obtained by United States Surgical Corp. In addition, Alexion acquired the manufacturing assets that had been developed by U.S. Surgical, a subsidiary of Tyco International, of Exeter, N.H., during the collaborations. (See BioWorld Today, Jan. 4, p. 1.)

¿ Allelix Biopharmaceuticals Inc., of Toronto, reported the cloning of the receptor for Glucagon-like Peptide 2 (GLP-2), which plays a role in intestinal growth and nutrient absorption, in the Feb. 16 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

¿ Ariad Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., received a $2 million cash payment from Hoechst Marion Roussel AG, of Frankfurt, Germany, for reaching a second milestone in their five-year bone disease collaboration. The collaboration¿s goal is to develop small-molecule drugs that block the activity of Src, an intracellular signaling protein that is critical to the osteoporosis disease process.

¿ Celgene Corp., of Warren, N.J., reported that its application to start clinical trials for its d-methylphenidate hydrochloride (d-MPH) chirally pure form of Ritalin was accepted by Canadian regulatory authorities. The acceptance triggered a $500,000 milestone payment from Biovail Corp. International, of Mississauga, Ontario, which has exclusive rights to market Celgene¿s formulations in Canada. Phase III studies are under way in the U.S.

¿ Cell Genesys Inc., of Foster City, Calif., received a $2 million milestone from Hoechst Marion Roussel AG, of Frankfurt, Germany, as a result of the granting of a European patent for gene activation technology. The patent, granted in December, is licensed by Hoechst for two applications ¿ gene activated erythropoietin and a second undisclosed protein. Cell Genesys has received more than $13 million from this agreement to date.

¿ Cephalon Inc., of West Chester, Pa., reported that Provigil (modafinil) tablets (C-IV) are now on the market. Provigil is a wakefulness-promoting agent for the treatment of excessive daytime sleepiness associated with narcolepsy. The drug was approved Dec. 24.

¿ IDEC Pharmaceuticals, of San Diego, signed three research collaborations that expand the company¿s product development efforts in cancer. The collaborations are with the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md., covering the development and therapeutic use of prostate-specific PAGE antigens; Corixa Corp., of Seattle, to develop monoclonal antibody-based therapies for prostate cancer; and the University of California in Irvine to identify novel genes specifically expressed by tumor endothelium. Terms were not disclosed.

¿ Nanoscale Combinatorial Synthesis Inc., of Tucson, Ariz., will provide Caliper Technology Corp., of Mountain View, Calif., custom combinatorial libraries designed to Nanoscale Combinatorial¿s Caliper¿s microfluidics screening technology with Nanosyn¿s expertise in miniaturized synthesis and distribution of compound libraries.

¿ NeoTherapeutics Inc., of Irvine, Calif., began a Phase IIb study of Neotrofin for Alzheimer¿s disease. The trial will establish the therapeutic dose of Neotrofin (AIT-082), a novel, orally administered compound. The study will start in the Republic of South Africa, with additional countries expected to be added.

¿ Nexell Therapeutics Inc., of Irvine, Calif., launched a second-generation version of the Isolex 300i Cell Selection System in Europe. Isolex 300i cell selection is a process that isolates and purifies stem cells from peripheral blood for use in stem cell transplantation to regenerate the blood or immune system following high-dose chemotherapy.

¿ LeukoSite Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., completed the acquisition of CytoMed Inc., also of Cambridge. LeukoSite exchanged 935,625 shares of preferred stock based on a price of $11.88 per share for all the preferred and common shares of CytoMed. In addition, in October 1999, upon receipt of a $6 million payment due CytoMed from UCP Pharma, of Brussels, Belgium, LeukoSite will issue an additional 631,313 shares to CytoMed shareholders. (See BioWorld Today, Jan. 6, 1999, p. 1.)

v¿ The Immune Response Corp., of Carlsbad, Calif., received a $5 million milestone payment from Agouron Pharmaceuticals Inc., of La Jolla, Calif., as part of its collaboration to complete the development and commercialize Remune, an immune-based therapy for HIV infection. To date, Agouron has paid the Immune Response Corp. $27 million.

¿ MitoKor, of San Diego, signed two collaborations that leverage the company¿s core competencies in mitochondrial medicine. The first agreement is with SRL Inc., of Tokyo, and gives SRL the rights to use MitoKor¿s Mito-Load assay and software for diagnosing Alzheimer¿s disease and for selecting candidates for human clinical trials. Terms were not disclosed on the five-year agreement. The second agreement is with the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, India, where MitoKor will support a team of organic chemists that will synthesize novel intermediates for subsequent use by MitoKor.

¿ Phytera Inc., of Worcester, Mass., has temporarily delayed its initial public offering (IPO) and the trading of its shares on the Copenhagen Stock Exchange and EASDAQ. The company intends to file an amended registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission; the pan-European exchange EASDAQ; the Belgian Regulatory Authority; and the Copenhagen Stock Exchange. Once this amendment is made effective by these authorities, Phytera will proceed with the IPO. In regulatory fillings, the company proposed to sell 2.5 million shares of common stock in a price range of $12 to $14 per share, with the underwriters being granted an option to purchase up to 375,000 additional shares to cover overallotments.

¿ Prolifaron LLC, of San Diego, entered into a $6.5 million research and development deal with Centocor Inc., of Malvern, Pa. Prolifaron will use its drug-discovery platform to identify proprietary drug candidates for Centocor, which will pay Prolifaron undisclosed up-front payments and research funding for up to three years, as well as royalties on sales. Centocor will get worldwide rights to develop and market resulting products.

¿ Quark Biotech Inc., of San Ramon, Calif., entered into a collaborative research agreement with Sankyo Company Ltd., of Tokyo, to use QBI¿s pathology-specific gene discovery technology and model systems to study gene responses and identify drug candidates for Type 2 diabetes. Quark will get undisclosed milestones and royalties.

¿ Synsorb Biotech Inc., of Calgary, Alberta, started operations and systems validation at its chemical manufacturing facility in Calgary. The 30,000-square-foot facility will manufacture the company¿s two lead products, Synsorb Pk and Synsorb Cd, from raw materials through to finished dosage.

¿ Xenometrix Inc., of Boulder, Colo., granted its ninth, and largest, license agreement for gene expression profiling to Genzyme Corp., through its Genzyme Molecular Oncology Division, giving the Cambridge, Mass.-based company access to claims covered in issued U.S. and European patents. The non-exclusive license covers the collection of gene expression profiles utilizing all methods, including high-density microarrays.

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