* Aastrom Biosciences Inc., of Ann Arbor, Mich., received a two-year, $737,000 Phase II Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, of Bethesda, Md., to advance the clinical application of the Aastrom Replicell cell production system. The system is used for expansion of cells for transplant and for ex vivo gene therapy.
* ArQule Inc., of Woburn, Mass., began construction on a 130,000-square-foot building that will house the company's corporate offices and research and development operations. The new facility will nearly double ArQule's current space.
* Corvas International Inc., of San Diego, received $3.7 million from institutional investors who increased their current holdings by exercising their warrants early, at a discount. A total of 1.025 million Corvas shares will be issued.
* Endovasc Ltd. Inc., of Montgomery, Texas, entered into a confidential agreement with Collaborative Laboratories Inc., of Stony Brook, N.Y., in preparation to produce LLPGE-1, a lyophilized liposomal prostaglandin, for Phase II trials for limb salvage.
* Interferon Sciences Inc., of New Brunswick, N.J., completed its Phase III trial of Alferon for hepatitis C. It also reported completion of treatment in an open-label continuation study with AIDS patients from a Phase III HIV trial of Alferon, which ended in March. Analyses of the trials' findings are expected at the end of the third quarter or early in the fourth quarter. In addition, Interferon said it will accelerate its Phase II HIV/HCV co-infection study of Alferon. The drug is a highly purified, natural-source multispecies alpha interferon.
* Neurex Corp., of Menlo Park, Calif., said a shareholder lawsuit has been filed against the company related to the merger with Elan Corp. plc, of Athlone, Ireland. The suit alleges the takeover deal is inadequate for Neurex stockholders. Neurex said the suit is without merit. Elan agreed to acquire Neurex in late April in a stock swap valued at more then $740 million. (See BioWorld Today, April 30, 1998, p. 1.)
* NeXstar Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Boulder, Colo., submitted an investigational new drug application to the FDA to begin testing of NX 1838 for treatment of age-related macular degeneration (ARMD). NX 1838 is an inhibitor of vascular endothelial growth factor, a protein believed to play a role in the growth of new blood vessels. ARMD is a condition resulting from excessive growth of new blood vessels that disrupts the macula, the part of the retina responsible for central vision.
* Novavax Inc., of Columbia, Md., granted Cantab Pharmaceuticals plc, of Cambridge, U.K., an extension on its option to license its Novasome technology for use as an adjuvant in TA-CIN, Cantab's experimental immunotherapeutic vaccine for cervical dysplasia, a precancerous disease of the cervix. The original license was signed in January.
* Quintiles Transnational Corp., of Research Triangle Park, N.C., signed a nonexclusive agreement with Johns Hopkins University, of Baltimore, to collaborate on clinical research opportunities. The university will participate in Quintiles' Select Sites program, designed to form partnerships with academic medical centers, independent investigator sites and managed care organizations to accelerate drug development.
* Techniclone Corp., of Tustin, Calif., said the FDA agreed to allow the company to include in its Phase II/III trial of Oncolym non-Hodgkin's lymphoma patients who failed or relapsed following treatment with other monoclonal antibodies. Oncolym is a monoclonal antibody linked to a therapeutic radioactive isotope. The company said the change was needed to accommodate the large number of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma patients who have received previous treatment with other antibodies.
* Theragenics Corp., of Atlanta, submitted its application to list on the New York Stock Exchange. The company expects to begin trading on the exchange in early August under the symbol TGX. Until then, it will maintain its Nasdaq listing under the symbol THRX.
* Titan Pharmaceuticals Inc., of South San Francisco, began a Phase II study of its small molecule anticancer agent, Pivanex, in patients with refractory stage III and IV non-small cell lung cancer. Up to 200 patients will be enrolled, with the test performed in two stages. Pivanex is an analogue of butyric acid, a naturally occurring substance that regulates cell growth.
* Pentose Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., received a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, of Bethesda, Md., to support development of the company's Inactine technology to eliminate viruses in blood samples collected for routine laboratory analysis. Inactine compounds are designed to bind and irreversibly modify nucleic acids, preventing viral replication.