o Acadia Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Diego, attained the first milestone in its collaboration with Allergan Inc., of Irvine, Calif. Allergan has nominated an adrenergic agonist for clinical development in its glaucoma program. Formerly Receptor Technologies Inc., Acadia is a privately held company that has developed a drug screening and functional genomic analysis platform called Receptor Selection and Amplification Technology (R-SAT), which is designed to characterize drug-receptor pharmacology; screen target genes against potential ligands; screen receptor genes; and characterize "orphan receptors," whose biological function or ligand is not known. The collaboration began last year. (See BioWorld Today, Sept. 26, 1997, p. 1.)
o American Biogenetic Sciences Inc., of Boston, was awarded a $100,000 Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Institutes of Health to advance the company's research into ABS-205, an early-stage compound for Alzheimer's disease. A small organic compound, the drug has effects similar to those of nerve growth factor - such as promoting the growth of new nerve connections involved in memory - but is able to cross the blood-brain barrier and accumulate where needed, the company said.
o MGI Pharma Inc., of Minneapolis, began enrolling patients in a Phase II clinical trial with MGI 114, the company's anticancer drug, to evaluate its ability to treat pancreatic cancer. MGI 114 is the lead compound in a family of cytotoxic agents called acyfulvenes.
o Pharmacopeia Inc., of Princeton, N.J., reached another milestone in its collaboration with Schering-Plough Corp., of Madison, N.J., and has received a cash payment. The two companies began working together in 1994, and signed a new, five-year collaboration earlier this month. The milestone payment relates to the earlier deal. (See BioWorld Today, Nov. 4, 1998, p. 1.)