* American Biogenetic Sciences Inc., of Copiague, N.Y., and the National Institutes of Health, in Bethesda, Md., started a research project to evaluate an American Biogenetic drug candidate as a potential new therapy for epilepsy. The drug, ABS-103, is a derivative of valproate (valproic acid), which is a first-line treatment for epilepsy.
* Biomira Inc., of Edmonton, Alberta, started a Phase I safety and dose comparison study of its synthetic MUC-1 therapeutic cancer vaccine in 14 non-small cell lung cancer patients. The vaccine, BLLP25, a 25-amino acid sequence of the MUC-1 mucin antigen encapsulated in a liposomal drug delivery system, is designed to stimulate a patient's immune system to attack cancer cells.
* Integra LifeSciences Corp., of Plainsboro, N.J., is consolidating its research and development activities at the San Diego plant currently occupied by its subsidiary, Telios Pharmaceuticals Inc. The facility, now called Integra LifeSciences' Corporate Research Center, will concentrate on developing its cartilage regeneration product, decorin, RGD peptides and polymer research in combination with its proprietary collagen matrices.
* LifeCell Corp., of The Woodlands, Texas, said the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, in Austin, Texas, started a second study of LifeCell's ThromboSol platelet storage solution with a physician-sponsored investigational new drug application. In addition, the U.S. Navy gave LifeCell $600,000 for expanded development and testing of ThromboSol. Part of the funding will support the M.D. Anderson study. ThrombolSol extends the shelf life of blood platelets by allowing cold storage instead of the conventional room temperature.
* Ortec International Inc., of New York, will enroll patients in its pilot trial for venous ulcers next month. The trial will enroll up to 40 patients at three sites, who will be followed for six months after wound closure. The company hopes to start patient enrollment in a pivotal trial by the first quarter of 2000. Ortec's product is a Composite Cultured Skin (CCS), which is a biologically active dressing consisting of a bioengineered bovine collagen matrix seeded with epidermal and dermal cells derived from infant foreskins.
* The National Center for Genome Resources, of Santa Fe, N.M., entered an agreement with Sun Microsystems Inc., of Palo Alto, Calif., to use the SUN HPC 10000 server for bioinformatics software and genomic databases. The Sun HPC 10000 server, also known as the Starfire server, will manage large relational databases of genetic information maintained by the NCGR, including the Genome Sequence DataBase and an agricultural genomics database.