* PPL Therapeutics plc, of Edinburgh, Scotland, released preliminary data from a Phase II cystic fibrosis study of human alpha antitrypsin (AAT) extracted from the milk of transgenic sheep. The company also said the FDA granted PPL's first investigational new drug application, allowing a further Phase II trial to be carried out in the U.S. Data from a 22-patient Phase II study showed AAT was safe and well tolerated at a range of doses. There also were indications of reductions in two markers of inflammation and one marker of lung damage. The treated group suffered fewer respiratory infections during the trial. Transgenic AAT was detected in the blood plasma of all patients in a dose-related manner. A larger Phase II trial in cystic fibrosis is now under way in the U.K.* Therapeutic Antibodies Inc., of Nashville and London, said its CroTAb antivenom treatment has been accepted for review by the FDA. This triggered a milestone payment of US$1 million from marketing partner Altana Inc., of Hamburg, Germany. CroTAb is a polyclonal antibody which neutralizes bites from most poisonous snakes native to North America, including rattlesnakes, copperheads and cottonmouths. CroTAb was granted orphan drug status in 1994.

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