* Abbott Laboratories, of Abbott Park, Ill., and MedImmune Inc., of Gaithersburg, Md., submitted a marketing authorization application for Synagis (palivizumab) to the European Agency for Evaluation of Medicinal Products for review. Synagis is a monoclonal antibody used for the prevention of serious lower respiratory tract disease caused by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in pediatric patients. RSV is the most common cause of pneumonia and bronchiolitis in infants and young children. Synagis was approved by the FDA in June.
* Agouron Pharmaceuticals Inc., of La Jolla, Calif., received a notice of compliance for its HIV protease inhibitor Viracept (nelfinavir mesylate) from the Canadian Health Protection Branch. The notice allows Agouron to market Viracept in Canada for the treatment of HIV infection in combination with reverse transcriptase inhibitors.
* Chiron Corp., of Emeryville, Calif., and Smith-Kline Beecham plc, of London, signed a global settlement agreement to end their various worldwide patent litigations regarding specific promoters used to produce recombinant antigens for human vaccine products. Under the agreement, SmithKline received a non-exclusive worldwide license from Chiron to produce antigens for vaccine products, including hepatitis B vaccines. Chiron will receive a license issuance fee and royalty payments on sales of any vaccines SmithKline produces using the promoters. All other litigation and challenges to Chiron's patents have been withdrawn or dismissed.
* Digital Gene Technologies Inc., of La Jolla, Calif., selected a project submitted by Inder Verma for inclusion in the company's program of academic research collaborations, designed to make its technology available free of charge to leading research scientists. Verma, a professor at the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences, also of La Jolla, will use Digital Gene's Total Gene Expression Analysis (TOGA) technology to study the molecular basis of oncogenesis. He will focus on the identification of genes regulated by BRCA1, the gene located on chromosome 17 that is altered in those who have an inherited susceptibility to breast cancer. TOGA is a method of identifying and determining the concentration of nearly all of the genes active in a sample cell or tissue.