* Igen International Inc., of Gaithersburg, Md., disclosed Peptide Therapeutics plc, of Cambridge, U.K., bought its Origen High Throughput Drug Discovery System, which is based on the electrochemiluminescence module (ECLM). The High Throughput System integrates multiple ECLMs and is adaptable to robotics platforms, allowing scientists to perform large drug candidate screens with enhanced sensitivity and accuracy. Peptide will use the technology to screen large combinatorial libraries of peptides for binding to its pathogen-specific antibodies.
* Pacific Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Diego, completed a $2.6 million private placement of 1.46 million shares of convertible preferred stock of its subsidiary, B-G Development Corp. The proceeds will fund the development of the chemosensitizing agent O6 Benzyl Guanine and to develop other technologies. A percentage of the proceeds will go to Pacific. O6 Benzyl Guanine and a series of related compounds are believed to enhance the effectiveness of a class of anti-cancer agents.
* QLT PhotoTherapeutics Inc., of Vancouver, British Columbia, reported its Phase I trial using photodynamic therapy as a treatment for autoimmune disease was safe, well-tolerated and showed potential for efficacy. The study was done with verteporfin (a light-activated drug also known as BPD-MA), for treatment of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. A Phase II trial for psoriasis is planned for 1999. QLT's approach to treating autoimmune disorders is to down-regulate the activated cells of the immune system, not destroy them.