* Boston Life Sciences Inc., of Boston, completed an interim analysis of the Phase II trial of Altropane, its radioimaging agent for the early diagnosis of Parkinson's disease. The trial was designed to demonstrate that subjects with early and/or mild Parkinson's disease could be readily differentiated from normal subjects based on an Altropane brain scan. Interim results from about half of the enrolled patients indicate that people with early or mild Parkinson's disease can be reliably and easily differentiated from normal subjects based on the scan. A Phase III trial is planned.
* Cel-Sci Corp., of Vienna, Va., reported that the Israel Health Authority gave it permission to start a clinical trial with its immunotherapy drug, Multikine. The study will recruit 10 patients with newly diagnosed head and neck cancer.
* Deltagen Inc., of San Carlos, Calf., signed a research agreement with Pfizer Inc., of New York., to validate target genes. Pfizer will provide target genes to Deltagen, which will use its proprietary knockout technology to provide knockout mice and their phenotypic analysis to Pfizer. Financial terms were not disclosed.
* Digene Corp., of Beltsville, Md., will collaborate with the Mexican National Institute of Public Health, the Mexican Institute for Society Security and the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, of Baltimore, to conduct a clinical trial involving 7,500 Mexican women to evaluate the use of the Digene Human Papillomavirus test as a primary cervical cancer screening test. The trial will evaluate the use of physician-collected and self-collected HPV specimens to determine if HPV-based cervical cancer screening will result in improved and more cost-effective cervical cancer prevention.
* Diversa Corp., of San Diego, and Novartis Agribusiness Biotechnology Research Inc., of Research Triangle Park, N.C., entered into a multiyear, multi-project collaborative research and product development alliance to develop products for crop enhancement and improved agronomic performance. Novartis, an affiliate of Novartis AG, of Basel, Switzerland, made an up-front $12.5 million payment and will also fund research, make milestone payments, and pay licensing fees and royalties to Diversa.
* Genzyme General, of Cambridge, Mass., signed an agreement with Fresenius A.G., of Bad Homburg, Germany, under which Fresenius will distribute and market Genzyme's Sepra family of products in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Luxembourg. Terms were not disclosed. The Sepra products include Seprafilm II Adhesion Barrier and Sepracoat Coating Solution.
* Immunomedics Inc., of Morris Plains, N.J., submitted a regulatory application for CEA-SCAN (arcitumomab) in breast cancer imaging to the European Medicines Evaluation Agency. CEA-Scan was studied in women with abnormal mammograms. Immunomedics believes that clinical trials demonstrated that CEA-Scan correctly detected cancer in 82 percent of the women, while in 91 percent, cancer was correctly excluded. The result was a nine-fold increase in the likelihood of cancer being present when CEA-Scan was positive and a five-fold decrease in the likelihood of cancer being present when CEA-Scan was negative.
* Lynx Therapeutics Inc., of Hayward Calif., expanded the scopes of several agreements it signed with BASF AG, of Ludwigshafen, Germany, in 1996. BASF agreed to commit an additional $10 million in funding to the joint venture developing products.
* Neogen Corp., of Lansing, Mich., increased its authorization for common stock repurchase from the previously announced 250,000 shares to 500,000 shares. Neogen has repurchased 228,000 shares since last August.
* Neose Technologies Inc., of Horsham, Pa., started a Phase II trial of NE-1530 for the prevention of pediatric middle ear infections, or otitis media. The Finnish National Public Health Institute in Helsinki, Finland, will conduct the study in 500 children. The double-blind, placebo-controlled trial will evaluate the effectiveness and safety of multiple intranasal doses of NE-1530 in the prevention of pediatric ear infections during a three-month course of treatment. The study will also evaluate changes in colonization of the bacteria that cause pediatric ear infections. NE-1530 is a complex carbohydrate that occurs naturally in human breast milk.
* Pangaea Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., reported that Pasteur Merieux Connaught, of Lyon, France, approved the start of the next phase of their collaboration to discover novel drug targets for a specific infectious organism. Pangaea's antigen discovery technologies have been used to accelerate Pasteur Merieux's efforts in developing and evaluating potential prophylactic and therapeutic vaccine targets.
* PathoGenesis Corp., of Seattle, has reported its first annual profit. For the year ending Dec. 31, 1998, PathoGeneises reported net earnings of $1.9 million, or 11 cents per diluted share. Excluding a $4 million third-quarter payment for in-licensing an aerosolized drug candidate, the company would have reported net income of about $5.9 million, or 34 cents per diluted share, for the year. For 1997, PathoGenesis had a net loss of $33 million, or $2.10 per basic and diluted share.
* SkyePharma plc, of London, reported that its partner Synthelabo SA, of Montrouge, France, submitted a marketing authorization application for a once-daily formulation of Xatral in France, Ireland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. The product is currently a twice- or three-times-a-day drug and is in Phase III trials in the U.S. Xatral is a urology product prescribed for the treatment of enlarged prostrate. The new formulation incorporates SkyePharma's Geomatrix oral controlled-release technology.
* Triangle Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Durham, N.C., will present positive results from a Phase I/II study of the antiviral activity and safety of Coviracil (emtricitabine) in HIV-infected patients at an upcoming scientific meeting. The findings led to initiation of pivotal combination studies.
* Ilex Oncology Inc., of San Antonio, and Eli Lilly and Co., of Indianapolis, signed an agreement in which Ilex will develop LY295501, a novel Lilly oncology compound from the diarysulfonylurea class. Lilly will have the option to further develop and commercialize the molecule after completion of certain unspecified clinical trials. Ilex will pay Lilly milestones and royalties on sales as well as a license fee. Lilly will make an undisclosed equity investment in Ilex.