* AltaRex Corp., of Waltham, Mass., reported that the FDA gave fast-track designation to OvaRex Mab, the company's drug for patients with advanced ovarian cancer. AltaRex is enrolling 280 patients in a North American Phase IIb OvaRex trial. Initial enrollment of a second Phase IIb trial, seeking 102 patients, will start this month.
* Genzyme Molecular Oncology (GMO) of Framingham, Mass., has licensed to Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Carlsbad, Calif., on a non-exclusive basis, patent rights relating to antisense compounds that interfere with the expression of a cancer-related gene; methods for treating cancerous cells with these compounds; and the methods for identifying such compounds. GMO will receive an undisclosed up-front payment as well as potential milestone payments and royalties on product sales.