* Aastrom Biosciences Inc., of Ann Arbor, Mich., was awarded a Phase II Small Business Innovation and Research grant from the Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Institute of the National Institutes of Health. The grant provides up to $770,000 in funding over two years to support development of the AastromReplicell System to produce umbilical cord blood-derived cells for use in stem cell transplantation.
* Cel-Sci Corp., of Vienna, Va., said James Talmadge, professor of pathology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, in Omaha, received $219,000 for a second year of funding of an innovation grant from the National Institutes of Health. He will continue to study in mice several forms of Cel-Sci's HGP-30 AIDS vaccine antigen, along with several new cytokines provided by Immunex Corp., of Seattle.
* FibroGen Inc., of South San Francisco, was awarded a five-year, $1.4 million grant from the National Institute of Arthritis, Muscoskeletal and Skin Diseases of the National Institutes of Health to study the applications of its recombinant collagen and connective growth tissue technologies in tissue engineering.
* IntraBiotics Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Mountain View, Calif., began dosing patients in a Phase II trial of ramoplanin, a new class of antibiotic, for elimination from the intestine of vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium, which is often the cause of fatal bloodstream infections. Ramoplanin targets a cell wall synthesis site that is different from those targeted by drugs such as penicillin and vancomycin. The study will be conducted at a minimum of eight centers and will enroll about 150 patients.