* AmCell Corp., of Sunnyvale, Calif., received a notice of allowance for a patent titled "Characterization of a human hematopoietic progenitor cell antigen." The patent covers a progenitor cell antigen recognized by the AC133 antibody. The antigen is expressed on early progenitor cells, making it useful for stem cell transplantation and gene therapy.
* Anergen Inc., of Redwood City, Calif., received patent No. 5,750,356 for a test of biochemical changes in immune cells of patients with autoimmune disease. The test detects T cells that react to the presence of diseases associated with protein antigens, which contribute to chronic conditions such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and Type I diabetes.
* Axiom Biotechnologies Inc., of San Diego, received a notice of allowance for a patent titled, "Apparatus and methods for real-time measurement of cellular response." The patent covers the instrumentation and methods employed in the company's High-Throughput Pharmacology System (HT-PS) for accelerated drug discovery.
* Endorex Corp., of Chicago, said patent No. 5,762,904, covering an oral vaccine delivery system using polymerized liposomes, was issued to Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), in Cambridge. Endorex has licensed the technology from MIT and is developing it through an alliance between its subsidiary, Orasomal Technologies Inc., of Lake Bluff, Ill., and Elan Corp. plc, of Dublin.
* Enzon Inc., of Piscataway, N.J., received a notice of allowance for a patent on its newest generation of polyethylene glycol (PEG) technology called ProDrug/Transport technology. This third generation PEG technology provides increased solubility and other drug delivery enhancements for small molecule therapeutics. A key feature is the linker joining PEG to the compound, potentially increasing its efficacy and reducing its toxicity.
* Fortron BioScience Inc., of Morrisville, N.C. received patent No. 5,756,682, titled "Antibodies specific for troponin I and methods of preparation thereof." The patent covers claims to certain key antibodies to troponin I, a marker for confirming cardiac damage in patients suspected of heart problems.
* Genelabs Technologies Inc., of Redwood City, Calif., received four patents for DNA-binding drug discovery. DNA-binding drugs are small molecules designed to alter the expression of disease-causing genes.
* Immunex Corp., of Seattle, received patent No. 5,763,223, covering the gene encoding TRAIL (tumor necrosis factor related apoptosis inducing ligand), a molecule that may have potential in treating cancer. Preclinical research shows that TRAIL binds to receptors found on many tumor cells and inhibits the cells' growth.
* Immunomedics Inc., of Morris Plains, N.J., received two patents — Nos. 5,753,206 and 5,772,981 — covering radiopharmaceuticals either on the market or in various stages of development for imaging or treating cancers, infections and other diseases. The company also received patent No. 5,776,095, describing a method of treating cancer with radiation or chemotherapy by first protecting non-cancerous tissues and cells.
* Irori Inc., of San Diego, received two combinatorial chemistry patents — Nos. 5,751,629 and 5,741,462. The patents cover Irori's "directed sorting" technology, which combines two chemical synthesis approaches (parallel and split-and-pool) with a radiofrequency tagging device.
* Ixion Biotechnology Inc., of Alachua, Fla., received a notice of allowance for a patent on technology to detect Oxalobacter formigenes. The O. formigenes is a non-pathogenic anaerobic intestinal bacterium responsible for the degradation of oxalate and is a risk factor for kidney stones.
* Matrix Pharmaceutical Inc., of Fremont, Calif., received patent No. 5,750,146, covering collagen gels that contain widely used anticancer drugs including fluorouracil and methotrexate. In the cytotoxic drug-containing collagen gels, the presence of the drug alters the collagen structure and enhances retention of the drug at the injection site.
* Medarex Inc., of Annandale, N.J., received patent No. 5,770,429, covering high affinity human antibodies such as those generated from transgenic mice and other transgenic animals. The patent was issued to Medarex's wholly owned subsidiary GenPharm International Inc., of Palo Alto, Calif.
* Medical Science Systems Inc., of Newport Beach, Calif., received a notice of allowance for a patent covering its BioFusion technology for modeling how cells behave and how various chemical products of cells work together.
* Megabios Corp., of Burlingame, Calif., received patent No. 5,756,353, covering aerosolized gene delivery to the lung and airways using cationic lipids. This technology, which has applications in pulmonary disorders such as cystic fibrosis, uses a gene-based drug Megabios is developing in collaboration with Glaxo Wellcome plc, of London.
* Myriad Genetics Inc., of Salt Lake City, received patent No. 5,739,027, for the discovery of a tumor suppressor gene, p19Arf (or MTS3), which is believed to operate in conjunction with the p53 gene to prevent cancer.
* Nabi Inc., of Boca Raton, Fla., received patent No. 5,770,208 on a Staphylococcus aureus antigen, vaccines made from the antigen and antibodies reactive to the antigen. The polysaccharide antigen, 336PS, is derived from a clinical isolate of S. aureus type 336.
* NeoTherapeutics Inc., of Irvine, Calif., received a notice of allowance for a patent covering a method for inducing the in vivo genetic expression of neurotrophic factors in mammals.
* Neuromedica Inc., of Conshohocken, Pa., received a notice of allowance for use of Taxoprexin, a drug that is being developed for cancer chemotherapy and is made by linking paclitaxel to a natural fatty acid, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Paclitaxel is the active ingredient in Taxol, a cancer drug marketed by Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., of New York.
* Oncormed Inc., of Gaithersburg, Md., received patent No. 5,756,294 for a new mutation of the BRCA1 gene, which is associated with breast, ovarian and prostate cancers. It also received patent No. 5,750,400 for a second full length sequence of the BRCA1 gene that encodes the entire "normal" BRCA1 protein.
* Ontogen Corp., of Carlsbad, Calif., received patent No. 5,756,527, titled, "Imidazole derivatives useful as modulators of multidrug resistance." The patent covers compounds for restoring the sensitivity of multidrug resistant cells to cancer chemotherapeutic agents.
* PathoGenesis Corp., of Seattle, received a patent for PA-1420 (polymyxin E1), a broad-spectrum gram-negative aerosolized antibiotic in preclinical development. The aerosolized antibiotic is designed to treat chronic lung infections in patients such as those with cystic fibrosis and others who are ventilator-dependent and immunocompromised.
* Progenitor Inc., of Menlo Park, Calif., received patent No. 5,763,211, covering the leptin receptor, which is a cell surface protein that interacts with the hormone leptin to reduce appetite and weight.
* RiboGene Inc., of Hayward, Calif., received patent No. 5,738,985, titled "Method for Selective Inactivation of Viral Replication," covering methods for screening antiviral drug candidates. The company said it is broadly applicable to the discovery of any new antiviral agent that acts by inhibiting translational control of gene expression.
* SangStat Medical Corp., of Menlo Park, Calif., received patent No. 5,766,629, covering the company's cyclosporine formulation technology.
* Sertoli Technologies Inc., of Tucson, said patent No. 5,759,534 was issued to Research Corp. Technologies Inc. for all pharmaceutical compositions of Sertoli cells as therapies. Sertoli Technologies, founded in 1996 by Research Corp., has exclusive rights to the patent. Sertoli cells, which nourish and protect developing sperm in mammalian testes, are being evaluated for protection of transplanted organs from attack by the recipients' immune systems.
* Theratechnologies Inc., of Montreal, received notices of allowance for two patents covering growth hormone-releasing factor (GRF) analogues, ThGRF 1-29 and ThGRF 1-44.
* Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., received notices of allowance on three patent applications covering the company's neurophilin compounds, which stimulate nerve growth.
* Visible Genetics Inc., of Toronto, received a notice of allowance for a patent titled, "Virtual DNA Sequencer." A virtual DNA sequencer is created by networking many independent, high-speed automated DNA sequencers to a single computer, creating what appears to be a single large sequencer.