* Cell Genesys Inc., of Foster City, Calif., earned a $2 million milestone payment under a license agreement with Hoechst Marion Roussel, of Frankfurt, Germany, related to the Phase III clinical trial of gene-activated erythropoietin by Hoechst, which is developing it with Transkaryotic Therapies Inc., of Cambridge, Mass. (See BioWorld Today, Sept. 30, 1998, p. 1.)
* Cohesion Technologies Inc., of Palo Alto, Calif., received the CE Mark for CoStasis Surgical Hemostat, allowing market entry into the European Union. Comprised of thrombin, collagen and autologous fibrinogen, CoStasis is a liquid hemostat designed to control diffuse bleeding during surgical procedures. The regulatory clearance is the company's first.
* Demegen Inc., of Pittsburgh, said its peptide compounds have been shown to improve animal survival after a typically lethal burn wound infection. The study consisted of injecting mice with small amounts of Peptidyl Membrane Interactive Molecules (Peptidyl MIMs) under the surface of a Pseudomonas aeruginosa-infected full-thickness scald burn wound. Results showed improved survival after Gram-negative burn wound sepsis via direct anti-bacterial effects.
* Novalon Pharmaceutical Corp., of Durham, N.C., and Bayer AG, of Leverkusen, Germany, entered a research collaboration to screen anti-infective drug discovery targets identified by Bayer using Novalon's BioKey assay technology. Novalon identifies, formats and delivers BioKey assays, and conveys a license for their use in anti-infective drug discovery. Bayer will select targets, conduct high-throughput screening, and provide Novalon with research funding, along with milestone payments and royalties.
* Orquest Inc., of Mountain View Calif., reported primate data showing fractured bones treated with Ossigel, were approximately 85 percent stronger compared to untreated controls at 10 weeks. Ossigel, which is injected into fractures, is a form of basic fibroblast growth factor with a hyaluronic gel. The treatment is designed to stimulate cell division and blood vessel formation to accelerate the healing process.
* Osiris Therapeutics Inc., of Baltimore, began a Phase I/II clinical trial of Stromagen in metastatic breast cancer patients receiving high-dose chemotherapy and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Stromagen, an infused, autologous, ex vivo expanded human mesenchymal stem cell product, has been shown in preclinical studies to enhance hematopoietic stem cell engraftment and differentiation.
* Sarawak MediChem Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Lemont, Ill., began screening volunteers for a Phase Ib clinical trial of (+)- calanolide A, an anti-AIDS compound discovered in the rain forest of Sarawak, Malaysia, testing the safety, pharmacokinetics and effects of two doses of the drug in HIV patients with no previous antiretroviral therapy. The research is designed to evaluate its effect on viral load and viral resistance, and compare the effect of treatment on changes from baseline CD4+ cell counts.
* Trega Biosciences Inc., of San Diego, completed four of five planned dosage groups in a Phase I dose escalation trial of HP 228, delivered to the lungs by an inhalation system. The company evaluated the safety of the compound in a study begun in April in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Data show the presence of HP 228 in plasma following administration to the lung, and no safety problems. Trega chose not to study the highest of the five dose levels, because it was satisfied with preliminary data. In August, the company initiated a Phase II dose-escalation trial of HP 228 for the treatment of pain and inflammation associated with surgery, and will not conduct further studies without a partner.