* Avant Immunotherapeutics Inc., of Needham, Mass., reported that TP10 (sCR1), its lead complement inhibitor, increased the efficacy of heparin-bonded cardiopulmonary bypass circuits by limiting damage to the heart and improving post-operative outcome in pigs. The results of the study were presented at the 84th Clinical Congress of the American College of Surgeons in Orlando.
* Generex Biotechnology Corp., of Toronto, filed an investigational new drug (IND) application with the FDA for its oral insulin formulation. The IND covers Phase II and III trials that showed the efficacy and safety of the oral insulin (Oralgen) in Type I and Type II diabetic patients.
* Pharmadigm Inc., of Salt Lake City, reported that it successfully immunologically protected aged mice against a lethal virus challenge through DNA vaccination incorporating Pharmadigm's myogenic gene-transfer vector. The report was given at the 4th annual Conference on Genetic Vaccines in Washington.
* Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., and Hoechst Marion Roussel, of Frankfurt, began a first clinical trial with an orally administered small molecule inhibitor of interleukin-1 beta converting enzyme for treating inflammatory diseases.