¿ BTG International Inc., of Gulph Mills, Pa., added new plant biotechnology to its crop-protection portfolio that the company said may offer an environmentally friendly approach to insect control and management. The technology involves increasing the plant hormone cytokinin, which has been shown to enhance a plant's natural defense mechanisms to insect attack.
¿ Genzyme Molecular Oncology, of Framingham, Mass., licensed a potent angiogenesis inhibitor protein for the treatment of cancer from the Children's Hospital Medical Center, in Boston. Preclinical data pertaining to the protein and its anti-angiogenic effects are not yet published. Genzyme Molecular will conduct confirmatory preclinical studies and develop a manufacturing process to produce the protein. The company anticipates starting Phase I trials in 2000. Genzyme Molecular will pay the hospital an up-front fee, product development milestones and royalties.
¿ Aurora Biosciences Corp., of San Diego, entered into an agreement to provide assay development and screening services to Pharmacia & Upjohn Inc. (P&U), of Bridgewater, N.J., The initial focus will be to develop assays using Aurora's high-sensitivity fluorescent assay technology for a number of orphan G-protein coupled receptors identified by P&U's genomics program. Aurora will also screen compound libraries provided by P&U to identify "hit" molecules, using Aurora's proprietary screening systems. Financial terms were not disclosed.
¿ Pacific Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Diego, acquired Binary Therapeutics Inc. (BTI), also of San Diego, through the merger of BTI with and into its wholly owned subsidiary. Pacific offered 2,162,673 shares of common stock, worth about $305,000, to the former BTI shareholders. With the merger comes BTI's BOPP photodynamic therapy technology, which is in Phase I trials in brain cancer.
¿ Variagenics Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., and Quintiles Transnational Corp., of Research Triangle Park, N.C., formed a collaboration to commercialize Variagenics' pharmacogenomics technologies for use in the development of new drugs. Quintiles will make the technology available to its customers, and Variagenics will be a preferred provider of services to those customers. Financial terms were not disclosed.