* Abgenix Inc., of Fremont, Calif., and Research Corporation Technologies Inc. (RCT), of Tucson, Ariz., formed a collaboration to develop antibody-based therapies for stimulating immune tolerance. They will use Abigenix's XenoMouse technology to develop fully human antibodies to CD45RB, a target that RCT studied in preclinical work.
* ArQule Inc., of Medford, Mass., entered into a collaboration with Johnson & Johnson, of New Brunswick, N.J., through its affiliate, R.W. Johnson Pharmaceutical Research Institute, which will receive a four-year subscription to ArQule's Mapping Array program to discover new compounds in various therapeutic areas. ArQule will receive annual payments, and will be entitled to milestones and royalties on resulting products.
* Gensia Sicor Inc., of Irvine, Calif., said company president and CEO Carlo Salvi purchased $5 million in 8 percent convertible notes and agreed to purchase another $5 million of the notes by the end of the year. They are convertible into common stock over two years, at Salvi's option, at $4.50 per share.
* Hyseq Inc., of Sunnyvale, Calif., said its dendritic differentiation factor protein may be effective in increasing the efficiency of vaccines and in development of new vaccines. The company is considering licensing the protein and marketing it as a reagent.
* Matritech Inc., of Newton, Mass., said the diagnostic test NMP179 detected seven of seven cancer specimens in a preclinical study in cervical tissues. Results were presented in San Francisco at the annual meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology.
* Millennium Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., said its partner in cardiovascular drug development, Eli Lilly and Co., of Indianapolis, has accepted two targets for drug candidate screening. Millennium has now delivered three targets to Lilly since their collaboration began in 1995. The latest achievement triggers an undisclosed milestone payment.
* Pangaea Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., said the first patient has been treated in a Phase I study of Biotope, a therapeutic vaccine for cervical dysplasia. Data are expected in one year.
* Pharmacia and Upjohn, of Bridgewater, N.J., said two studies of the HIV drug Rescriptor, a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor, had a beneficial effect when added to two protease inhibitor combinations had a beneficial effect on viral load and CD4 counts, as well as allowing for protease inhibitor dose reductions and simpler dosing schedules.
* Pharmacopeia Inc., of Princeton, N.J., entered into a collaboration with Novartis AG, of Basel, Switzerland, through its subsidiary, Novartis Crop Protection AG, to use Pharmacopeia's combinatorial chemistry technology to provide small molecule compounds for screening by Novartis. Pharmacopeia will receive payments for each library, and will be entitled to milestones and royalties on compounds that are developed.
* Serono Laboratories Inc., of Norwell, Mass., launched a patient registry to track those taking its growth-hormone products, Geref and Saizen. The database will track treatments and outcomes.