* Avi Biopharma Inc., of Portland, Ore., said a 77-patient Phase II trial of the therapeutic cancer vaccine Avicine demonstrated measurable responses to human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), increased survival in immune responders and essentially no toxicity. About two-thirds of the patients produced antibodies to hCG, and median survival in that group was 42 weeks, compared to 17 weeks in those who did not produce specific antibodies.
* Boston Life Sciences Inc., of Boston, said its growth factor Axogenesis Factor 1 demonstrated regrowth of severed axons within the optic nerves of mice, suggesting AF1 could be useful in treating glaucoma.
* Aviron, of Mountain View, Calif., said it expects to be able to comply with FDA requirements regarding submission of a license application for its FluMist influenza vaccine. The company received a notice in August, stating the application was denied due to lack of data on manufacturing, validation and stability. The company said it plans to submit an application by summer or fall of 1999.
* Celtrix Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Santa Clara, Calif., said data presented at a surgical conference were consistent with earlier findings showing SomatoKine's beneficial effects on reducing protein wasting in a study of 28 severely burned patients. SomatoKine is the recombinant equivalent of the complex formed by the hormone insulin-like growth factor-1 and its major binding protein (BP-3).