* Aurora Biosciences Corp., of San Diego, and the Parke-Davis division of Morris Plains, N.J.-based Warner-Lambert Co., expanded their existing collaboration to use Aurora's GenomeScreen program to characterize and profile effects of compounds on gene expression in a human cell line. Aurora will get research funding and payment upon isolation of cell clones, along with potential milestones and royalties.
* Cadus Pharmaceutical Corp., of Tarrytown, N.Y., said the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted its request to re-examine the patent issued to Sibia Neurosciences Inc., of La Jolla, Calif., covering the use of cells engineered to express a cell surface receptor and a reporter gene to screen compounds. Cadus claimed prior art renders the patent invalid. (See BioWorld Today, Dec. 22, 1998, p. 2.)
* Cel-Sci Corp., of Vienna, Va., got permission to start a Phase II study of Multikine in Poland. The trial will enroll 30 patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck, and will involve Multikine treatment prior to surgery or radiation.
* Chiron Corp., of Emeryville, Calif., was granted a license to market Proleukin in Canada for a second indication, metastatic melanoma. The product is approved in 47 countries.
o Genta Inc., of San Diego, began a Phase I/IIa study of G3139, a compound that targets the bcl-2 gene. The study will assess safety and efficacy in treating relapsed follicular non-Hodgkin's lymphoma when administered with cyclophosphamide.
* Incyte Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Palo Alto, Calif., expanded its genomics database agreement with Pharmacia & Upjohn, of Bridgewater, N.J. It will provide access to Incyte's PathoSeq microbial database for use in Pharmacia & Upjohn's infectious disease programs. Financial terms were not disclosed.
* Infigen Inc., of DeForest, Wis., and Imutran Ltd., a subsidiary of Novartis Pharma AG, of Basel, Switzerland, formed a partnership to develop technologies for porcine targeting and nuclear transfer for use in xenotransplantation. The focus is on using Infigen's technology to modify the DNA of pig cells to make them more suitable for transplantation. Specific terms were not disclosed.
* Maxim Pharmaceuticals, of San Diego, said preliminary tests of its topical MaxDerm therapy showed it was more effective than placebo in a number of applications, including oral herpes, oral mucositis, pressure sores, canker sores, shingles and burns. Oral mucositis is expected to be a lead indication for further testing.
* Medco Research Inc., of Research Triangle Park, N.C., began a Phase III Acute Myocardial Infarction Study of Adenosine, called AMISTAD-II, combining adenosine with thrombolysis or angioplasty in treating acute myocardial infarction, or heart attack. The name Pallacor was selected for this application of intravenous adenosine.
* Metabasis Therapeutics Inc., a majority-owned subsidiary of Irvine, Calif.-based Gensia Sicor Inc., reached a developmental milestone in its Type II diabetes collaboration with Tokyo-based Sankyo Co. Ltd. Neither the milestone nor payment was disclosed.
* NeoTherapeutics Inc., of Irvine, Calif., said a Phase Ib study showed Neotrofin (AIT-082) had a positive effect on memory function in healthy elderly volunteers following seven days of treatment. Results from a 28-day study in Alzheimer's patients are expected to be available soon.
* OSI Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Uniondale, N.Y., adopted a shareholder rights plan, with bylaw amendments to protect it against unwanted takeover tactics. The move reflects the company's belief that it is undervalued.
* ProScript Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., signed a cooperative research and development agreement with the National Cancer Institute to advance development of PS-341, ProScipt's proteosome inhibitor for cancer. The NCI will sponsor Phase I trials.
* Protein Design Labs Inc., of Fremont, Calif., granted two nonexclusive licenses under its humanized antibody technology to Medarex Inc., of Annandale, N.J., for bispecific antibodies Medarex is developing. Medarex paid signing and licensing fees and may make milestone payments, and pay maintenance fees and royalties on sales.
* Scios Inc., of Mountain View, Calif., and Eli Lilly and Co., of Indianapolis, extended their Alzheimer's collaboration through at least 2001. Scios will continue development of screening assays as well as other research related to the disease.
* Sibia Neurosciences Inc., of La Jolla, Calif., began a Phase II study of SIB-1553A in Alzheimer's patients. The company also completed a seven-day, multiple-dose Phase I study of the subtype-selective nicotinic agonist.
* Vysis Inc., of Downers Grove, Ill., said more than 20 cancer centers and commercial laboratories have contracted to provide the company's PathVysion HER-2 DNA Probe Kit for detecting and quantifying the HER-2 gene in breast cancer patients. The test was approved in the U.S. in December.
* Xoma Corp., of Berkeley, Calif., received a $2 million milestone payment from Genentech Inc., of South San Francisco, based on completion of a Phase II study with the hu1124 antibody product in psoriasis patients. Results will be presented at a scientific forum.
* Zeneca Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Wilmington, Del., will pursue a six-month extension of U.S. marketing exclusivity for Zestril (lisinopril) Tablets, an ACE inhibitor with 1997 worldwide sales of $1 billion, under federal laws granting such extensions for companies providing pediatric data for certain drugs. The move would extend exclusivity to June 29, 2002.