* InKine Pharmaceutical Co., of Blue Bell, Pa., began a pivotal Phase III clinical trial program for INKP-1000 (sodium phosphate tablets) as a purgative for bowel preparation prior to colonoscopy. Two studies will compare the drug with an ethical liquid polyethylene glycol-salt solutioin for efficacy, safety and patient acceptance. Enrollment is expected to total 800 to 900 patients in 30 sites nationwide.* Alpha-Beta Technology Inc., of Worcester, Mass., entered into an agreement for the private placement of $3 million of convertible preferred stock with a single institutional investor. Proceeds will be used for the company's ongoing Phase III trial of Betafectin for preventing post-operative infections, as well as the company's antifungal research program.
* BioCryst Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Birmingham, Ala., completed the previously announced $6 million equity investment from Johnson & Johnson Development Corp., as part of a $55 million deal with Johnson & Johnson, of New Brunswick, N.J. The agreement to develop and market influenza drugs was disclosed earlier this year. (See BioWorld Today, Sept. 16, 1998, p. 1.)
* Tripos Inc., of St. Louis, was awarded a Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Institutes of Health, for the first phase of work entitled "Visualizing Thousand-Dimensional Chemical Diversity," and is intended to improve the efficient use of combinatorial chemistry and high-throughput screening in drug discovery.