* Acadia Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Diego, said its researchers made a breakthrough in understanding how drugs control the activity of muscarinic receptors. Research used the company's R-SAT technology to test the effects of thousands of mutations on drug-receptor interactions. They have defined specific amino-acid side chains within the receptor that make contacts with drugs and function as the "on-off" switch in response to the drugs. The results were published in the Aug. 21 issue of The Journal of Biological Chemistry.

* American Biogenetic Sciences Inc. (ABS), of Copiague, N.Y., signed a distribution agreement that will see its thrombus precursor protein (TpP) promoted directly to customers in North America for the first time. Corgenix Medical Corp., of Denver, will position TpP as a core product in its North American sales and marketing efforts. Also, Corgenix, formerly known as Reaads Medical Products Inc., will collect clinical data on TpP, to be shared with ABS.

* Cambridge Neuroscience Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., said important advances in its glial growth factor 2 (GGF-2) program for multiple sclerosis (MS) were published in the Aug. 18 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study demonstrates that treatment in an animal model of MS with recombinant GGF-2 leads to delayed onset and decreased disease severity. There was also a significant reduction in the relapse rate.

* Nabi, of Boca Raton, Fla., submitted a product license application and a supplement to its establishment license application for its reformulated Hepatitis B Immune Globulin (human), with a proposed trade name of H-BIG, for preventing hepatitis B infection.

* Sonus Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Bothell, Wash., submitted an amendment to the new drug application (NDA) for EchoGen (perflenapent injectable emulsion). The amendment is in response to a February letter from the FDA stating that the imaging agent's NDA was inadequate for approval. In the amendment, the company addresses issues raised by the FDA regarding approval for echocardiography indications, but does not respond to the agency's concerns about radiology indications. Sonus plans to submit additional clinical data supportive of radiology uses at a later date.

* XOMA Corp., of Berkeley, Calif., licensed its lipopolysaccharide binding protein technology to Diagnostic Products Corp. (DPC), of Los Angeles, as a biochemical marker of systemic exposure to endotoxin, a potent bacterial poison that can trigger deadly infectious complications. DPC will use the technology initially to develop automated lab tests for the diagnosis and prognosis of diseases induced by endotoxin exposure, such as sepsis and infectious complications of surgery and trauma. XOMA will receive royalties on products related to the technology.