* DuPont Pharmaceuticals Co., of Wilmington, Del., agreed with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on a means of making Cre-lox technology available to the NIH and NIH-supported researchers. Cre-lox technology involves site-specific recombination of DNA using the cre gene and lox sites. According to DuPont, Cre-lox site-directed recombination improves existing gene knockout technology, especially in genetically manipulated mouse models.
* Endogen Inc., of Woburn, Mass., began shipping Xplore mRNA Assays, which measure gene expression. The assays are based on the company's Invader technology, which generates rapid, linear signal amplification directly from mRNA molecules. The assay kits provide reagents for analyzing up to 43 samples in duplicate in a strip-well microtitre plate using fluorescence-based detection.
* Oncor Inc., of Gaithersburg, Md., added 19 new medical facilities to the network of medical centers and commercial laboratories using its Inform HER-2/neu breast cancer test. So far, 50 institutions have started testing or will begin when their laboratories have completed the FDA-required training and proficiency testing. The test is a gene-based standardized method of determining a tumor's aggressiveness.
* Synsorb Biotech Inc., of Calgary, Alberta, executed a $5 million five-year term financing agreement with Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce Knowledge-Based Business to fund Synsorb's manufacturing facility in Calgary. Construction is under way and expected to finish by the end of this year.
* Techniclone Corp., of Tustin, Calif., said it will submit soon a Phase II protocol request to the FDA for its Tumor Necrosis Therapy (TNT) in malignant brain cancer patients. The trials will take place at four centers and enrollment should start by the end of the year. TNT acts by binding to intracellular compounds of dead and dying cells at the core of most solid tumors and killing the cancer from the inside out.
* VaxGen Inc., of South San Francisco, said the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) will collaborate with the company in ongoing Phase III trials of AIDSVAX, an anti-HIV vaccine. The collaboration will entail research on immune responses produced by the vaccine, as well as on the use of AIDSVAX in combination with other vaccines being studied by NIAID, an agency with the National Institutes of Health . The company began inoculating volunteers earlier this year. (See BioWorld Today, June 25, 1998, p. 1.)