* Biomerica Inc., of Newport Beach, Calif., filed for clearance with the FDA to market its new free T4 enzyme immunoassay test. Based on a non-radioactive enzyme, the new product determines the amount of free thyroxin (T4) in the bloodstream as an aid in assessing thyroid function. Five Biomerica tests to determine thyroid disease and dysfunction have been cleared by the FDA. The company also said it has launched the free T4 EIA kit internationally.
* Chromagen Inc., of San Diego, completed an offering of Series E preferred stock and raised $5 million. The privately held company creates biological assays for drug discovery screening programs with simultaneous multi-target testing.
* Emisphere Technologies Inc., of Tarrytown, N.Y., said Eli Lilly and Co., of Indianapolis, has formally selected an Emisphere carrier for clinical testing of oral delivery of a Lilly protein for the treatment of osteoporosis. Preclinical testing preparations will begin immediately, with first human dosing expected next year. An investigational new drug applicationwill be submitted as soon as toxicology testing is finished. The two companies began collaborating last year. (See BioWorld Today, Feb. 28, 1997, p. 1.)
* ICN Pharmaceuticals Inc., of New York, initiated a two-part share repurchase program. The first phase consists of repurchasing up to $10 million of the company's outstanding common shares, and the second part calls for retaining an investment bank to advise and assist in the development of a long-term repurchase program, potentially reducing the number of outstanding shares by up to 10 percent.
* Medarex Inc., of Annandale, N.J., received a milestone payment of $750,000 from Esai Co. Ltd., of Tokyo, triggered by manufacturing and development progress with MDX-CD4, Medarex's first fully human antibody product, designed for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases. MDX-CD4 was developed using Medarex's HuMAb-Mouse technology.
* Photogen Technologies Inc., of Knoxville, Tenn., said melanoma cells in laboratory mice were destroyed by activating naturally occurring melanin and related compounds with the company's multi-photon excitation technology. Tumors were treated by scanning the affected area with light from an ultra-fast, pulsed laser. The animal tests suggest it may be possible to treat melanoma without surgery or chemotherapy.