* Diatide Inc., of Londonderry, N.H., reported that NeoTect (formerly P829) was equivalent or superior to Miraluma kit for the preparation of Technetium Tc-99m Sestamibi, which was developed by DuPont Pharmaceuticals Co., of Wilmington, Del. The Miraluma kit is an agent approved for use in the radiologic detection of primary and metastatic breast cancer. The data were presented at the western regional meeting of the Society of Nuclear Medicine in Long Beach, Calif. NeoTect is undergoing a priority review by the FDA for imaging malignant lung tumors.
* Epimmune Inc., of San Diego, a majority-owned subsidiary of Cytel Corp., also of San Diego, received two Phase II Small Business Innovation Research grants totaling $1.5 million from the National Institutes of Health, of Bethesda, Md., to investigate a new approach for treating and preventing viral infections. The studies are aimed at extending into nonhuman primate models the preclinical evidence that Epimmune's technology enables the induction of specific immune responses critical to controlling hepatitis C virus and HIV infections.
* Angiotech Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Vancouver, British Columbia, completed enrollment in a clinical study of the safety and pharmacological activity of micellar paclitaxel for patients with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis. All 30 patients at St. Michael's Hospital, in Toronto, have begun treatment with the company's formulation of paclitaxel, and no significant adverse events have been reported. Paclitaxel, the active ingredient in the chemotherapeutic drug Taxol, is widely used for patients suffering from breast and ovarian cancer. This study, one of the first to examine the drug in non-cancer indications, involves six monthly treatments with micellar paclitaxel at two different dose levels, with 18 months' follow-up.