* Cadus Pharmaceutical Corp., of Tarrytown, N.Y., and Sibia Neurosciences Inc., of La Jolla, Calif., appear to be heading for a trial of their patent dispute. The suit alleging infringement was filed by Sibia against Cadus in July 1996. Cadus responded with motions for summary judgment — which were denied this month — contending the Sibia patent, No. 5,401,629, is invalid and that Cadus does not infringe the patent. The case is slated for trial Nov. 3 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California.
* Celltech plc, of Slough, England, will receive a second license payment, amount undisclosed, for Centocor Inc.'s Remicade (formerly Avakine) as a result of the FDA's approval of the drug for treatment of moderate to severe Crohn's disease. Under the licensing agreement between Celltech and Malvern, Pa.-based Centocor, Celltech will also receive royalties. (See BioWorld Today, Aug. 25, 1998, p. 1.)
* Diatide Inc., of Londonderry, N.H., received a $2 million milestone payment from Nycomed Imaging AS, of London, for the June submission of a new drug application for NeoTect (formerly P829), a lung cancer imaging product. Nycomed is expected to submit a marketing approval application in Europe by the end of the year. NeoTect is an injectable imaging agent made up of two active components: a small-molecule, synthetic peptide and a molecule of technetium-99m. Nycomed earlier this month terminated an option and development agreement with Diatide, but the companies still have a relationship that includes marketing arrangements. (See BioWorld Today, Aug. 12, 1998, p. 1.)
* G.D. Searle & Co., the pharmaceutical division of St. Louis-based Monsanto Co., received priority review designation from the FDA for Celebra (celecoxib). A COX-2 inhibitor, the drug is under review for acute or chronic use in the treatment of the signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, and for the management of pain. Searle and Pfizer Inc., of New York, have a deal to develop and commercialize Celebra worldwide, except in Japan.
* NaPro BioTherapeutics Inc., of Boulder, Colo., received a favorable ruling from the United Kingdom Patent Court in a dispute with Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., of New York. The court ruled in favor of NaPro's claim that a Bristol-Myers paclitaxel patent was invalid in the United Kingdom. The patent in question covers methods of administration of the anti-cancer drug. "This ruling removes an important obstacle to the marketing of NaPro paclitaxel in Europe," said Sterling Ainsworth, NaPro's president and CEO.
* SangStat Medical Corp., of Menlo Park, Calif., won 510(k) marketing clearance for the CycloTech Cyclosporine Oral Solution Dispenser, designed to be used by transplant recipients with the firm's cyclosporine drug candidate. The hand-held device dispenses SangStat's oral solution formulation (currently under FDA review), displays dose size, time to next dose, remaining available doses and doses dispensed. The device also displays a score of dispensed doses, and stores dispensing history for downloading by healthcare professionals.
* Sonus Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Bothell, Wash., is the target of a class action suit initiated on behalf of purchasers of the company's common stock between Sept. 24, 1996, and June 8, 1998. Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, the complaint alleges that Sonus and some of its officers and directors misrepresented the following: the company's patents; the status of the EchoGen imaging agent, Sonus' lead product; the firm's competitive position with regard to Molecular Biosystems Inc., of San Diego; and the safety and effectiveness of EchoGen. The complaint contends these alleged misrepresentations artificially inflated the stock price during the period cited above. Steven Quay, Sonus' president and CEO, replied, "There has been no wrongdoing by the company, or any of its officers or directors, and we intend to respond vigorously in a timely fashion." The Seattle law firm of Hagens Berman filed the suit.
* T Cell Sciences Inc., of Needham, Mass., and Virus Research Institute Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., have received shareholder approval of their $150 million merger. Shares of the integrated company — Avant Immunotherapeutics Inc., headquartered in Needham — began trading Monday on NASDAQ under the symbol AVAN. (See BioWorld Today, May 13, 1998, p. 1.)