* Aronex Pharmaceuticals Inc., of The Woodlands, Texas, said the FDA accepted for review its new drug application for Atragen, a treatment for promyelocytic leukemia. (See BioWorld Today, Dec. 8, 1998, p. 1.)
* CV Therapeutics Inc., of Palo Alto, Calif., adopted a stockholder rights plan it said was designed to guard against abusive takeover tactics, and was not a response to any particular proposal.
* Discovery Laboratories Inc., of Doylestown, Pa., said a Phase II trial of its surfactant, Surfaxin, showed Surfaxin-lavaged newborns had more rapid and persistent improvements in oxygenation compared to those treated with standard care. Also, lavaged infants were weaned from mechanical ventilation three days sooner that controls. The drug has FDA fast-track designation for treatment of Meconium Aspiration Syndrome.
* Genzyme Molecular Oncology, of Framingham, Mass., received a $5 million milestone payment from partner Schering-Plough Corp., of Madison, N.J., that was triggered by the granting of a European patent covering p53 gene therapy and methods to detect loss of p53, a tumor suppressor gene that regulates cell growth. Genzyme has received $10 million so far from Schering-Plough.
* Integra LifeSciences Corp., of Plainsboro, N.J., received approval to market Duragen Dural Graft Matrix in the 18-country European Union. Launch is expected in the second quarter. The product is a collagen matrix for the restoration of the dural membrane, used for dural closure in neurological procedures.
* Milkhaus Laboratory Inc., of Boxford, Mass., said chronic bronchitis patients in a Phase II trial of HP-3 increased expectoration and showed statistically significant improvements in pulmonary function and physical performance capacity, compared to those taking placebo. The company plans to begin discussions this spring with potential licensees of the product.
* Trimeris Inc., of Durham, N.C., said that T-20, the first of a new class of fusion inhibitors that blocks entry of HIV into cells, received fast-track designation from the FDA for treating HIV. The product is in Phase II trials.
* Palatin Technologies Inc., of Princeton, N.J., began Phase II studies of LeuTech for diagnosing osteomyelitis, or bone infections. The 45-patient study is expected to be completed in the second quarter. LeuTech also is in Phase III trials for diagnosing thoracic and abdominal infections.
* Pangea Systems Inc., of Oakland, Calif., said Biosource Genomics, a division of Vacaville, Calif.-based Biosource Technologies Inc., licensed Pangea's GeneWorld and GeneMills bioinformatics software and its Pathway computational tools. Terms were not disclosed.
* SangStat, of Menlo Park, Calif., said the United Kingdom has granted, under its national regulatory procedure, marketing approval for SangCya Oral Solution (cyclosporine) for prevention of rejection in solid-organ transplant recipients, as well as other immunosuppressant indications.
* Sonus Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Bothell, Wash., and Abbott Laboratories, of Abbott Park, Ill., amended their marketing and distribution agreements related to Echogen (perflenapent). The changes include reductions in the royalty rates on international sales and redefinition of U.S. and international milestones that trigger payments to Sonus. The U.S. royalty rates and the aggregate amount of milestone payments were not changed.
* U.S. Bioscience Inc., of West Conshohocken, Pa., completed a previously announced $20 million private placement of 2.69 million shares and 537,000 three-year warrants. (See BioWorld Today, Jan. 29, 1999, p. 1.)
* XLT Biopharmaceuticals Ltd., of Rehovot, Israel, and collaborators created a mouse model for the human hepatitis B virus, called HBV-Trimera. It has potential use for rapidly identifying antiviral agents. Details were published in the Feb. 1 issue of the journal Hepatology.
* ZymeTx Inc., of Oklahoma City, said its board adopted a rights plan to protect shareholders in the event of an unsolicited takeover attempt.