* ArQule Inc., of Medford, Mass., and Amersham Pharmacia Biotech, of Uppsala, Sweden, have agreed to jointly develop and commercialize customized bioseparations products for industrial, life sciences and research applications. New products from the partnership, such as novel affinity ligands for purifying new pharmaceuticals, could be commercially launched as early as next year. The companies were already collaborating on other projects.
* Genzyme Corp., of Cambridge, Mass., and BASF AG, of Ludwigshafen, Germany, signed a five-year exclusive agreement to jointly promote and market Genzyme's Thyrogen recombinant thyroid stimulating hormone in the U.S., following regulatory approval. The deal is with Knoll Pharmaceutical Co., the U.S. pharmaceutical unit of BASF Pharma, which is the global pharmaceuticals division of BASF AG. Knoll develops, manufactures and markets Synthroid (levothryoxine sodium tablets), the leading thyroid hormone replacement therapy in the U.S.
* Lexicon Genetics Inc., of The Woodlands, Texas, and DuPont Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Wilmington, Del., signed multiple agreements. DuPont subscribed to Lexicon's OmniBank gene sequence database and library of mutant mouse clones. Lexicon received a license and certain sublicensing rights to DuPont's Cre-lox technology for creating tissue-specific gene knockouts. Lexicon also gets rights to use Cre-lox to practice gene trapping in mouse embryonic stem cells. DuPont receives royalties on products developed using Cre-lox, as well as a non-exclusive license to Lexicon's Positive-Negative Selection and Isogenic DNA patent portfolio.
* Neurogen Corp., of Branford, Conn., began a Phase Ib human situational anxiety trial of its lead anti-anxiety drug candidate, NGD 91-2. In a comparable trial of NGD 91-1, an earlier drug candidate from the same collaboration with Pfizer Inc., of New York, the latter company demonstrated a single dose of the small molecule compound rapidly relieved situational anxiety by acting on specific receptor subtypes of the GABA neurotransmitter.
* Pathogenesis Corp., of Seattle, filed for regulatory approval of TOBI (tobramycin solution for inhalation) in Europe. The TOBI dossier will be filed with the Medicines Control Agency in the United Kingdom, the lead country for seeking regulatory approval of TOBI in the European Union. TOBI is approved in the United States for managing cystic fibrosis patients with Pseudonomas aeurginosa lung infections.
* Schering-Plough Corp., of Madison, N.J., said the FDA granted priority review status to its supplemental new drug application for Rebetron Combination Therapy for chronic hepatitis C in treatment-naive patients. Schering wants to market the Rebetron combination — containing Rebetol (ribavarin) capsules and Intron A (interferon alfa-2b) injection — for patients with compensated liver disease previously untreated with alpha interferon therapy.