o Boston Life Sciences Inc., of Boston, presented findings concerning the regulation of axon growth in nerve cells at a meeting of the Society of Neuroscience in Los Angeles. The findings describe the intracellular pathway that may control axon growth in all nerve cells.
o Cytel Corp., of San Diego, received a $200,000 Orphan Drug Products Grant by the FDA's Office of Orphan Products Development to evaluate Cylexin in reducing or preventing neurodevelopmental impairment in infants by preventing acute brain damage due to reperfusion injury. The project, "Cylexin Reduces Neurologic Injury in Infants," is part of Cytel's ongoing Phase II/III trial, scheduled for completion by the first quarter of next year. Reperfusion injury occurs when blood supply to tissues is cut off and restored (such as often occurs during open-heart surgery) and results in damage to all major organs, including the heart, lungs, kidneys and brain. Cylexin is a carbohydrate selectin inhibitor compound designed to block white cell adhesion.
o Digene Corp., of Beltsville, Md., reported that the new Hybrid Capture II HBV DNA test could accurately quantify hepatitis B virus DNA viral load, according to a multi-center clinical trial. The test monitors patients with chronic HBV infection who are receiving treatment with new antivirals such as Epivir-HBV (lamivudine). In the U.S., the HBV HC II test is currently available only for research. Following the completion of clinical trials and regulatory approval, it will be available for in vitro diagnostic use.