* Avax Technologies Inc., of Kansas City, Mo., said the National Cancer Institute has agreed to fund and conduct a Phase I/II trial of the company's O-Vax vaccine against Stage 3 ovarian cancer. The autologous cell vaccine conjugates a patient's tumor cells to a small molecule known as a hapten (dinitro phenyl). The cells are injected back into the patient, along with an agent that boosts immune responses against the cancer.
* Boston Life Sciences Inc., of Boston, said it submitted an amended new drug application (NDA) to the FDA for Therafectin to treat rheumatoid arthritis. The oral drug is a carbohydrate-based small molecule. The amended NDA is based on Phase III trial data reported in January. (See BioWorld Today, Jan. 21, 1998, p. 1.)
* Boston Scientific Corp., of Natick, Mass., said it acquired CardioGene Therapeutics Inc., of Princeton, N.J. Financial details were not disclosed. CardioGene develops gene therapies for cardiovascular diseases. (See BioWorld Today, Aug. 15, 1997, p. 1.)
* Chiron Corp., of Emeryville, Calif., and Gen-Probe Inc., of San Diego, entered a strategic alliance to develop and market DNA probe assays for blood screening. Financial terms were not disclosed. Initially the two companies will develop a combination test for HIV and hepatitis C (HCV) to screen donor blood supplies. The HIV-HCV assay is expected to enter clinical trials this year. Gen-Probe is a subsidiary of Chugai Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., of Tokyo.
* CV Therapeutics Inc., of Palo Alto, Calif., received a $4.5 million loan from Biogen Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., as a milestone payment in their collaboration on development of CV Therapeutics' adenosine A1 blocker, CVT-124, for congestive heart failure. The loan was part of an amendment to the March 1997 alliance, accelerating the milestone payment. (See BioWorld Today, March 11, 1997, p. 1.)
* Insite Vision Inc., of Alameda, Calif., said it entered two collaborations with researchers involved in studying the genetics of glaucoma. The company will work with U.S. scientists to investigate genetic links between ocular hypertension and glaucoma. Insite's agreement with French researchers involves study of TIGR gene mutations in that country. Mutations in the TIGR gene have been implicated in glaucoma.
* Lifecodes Corp., of Stamford, Conn., agreed to acquire GeneScreen Inc., of Dallas, which conducts paternity, transplantation and forensics tests. Terms were not disclosed. In the takeover, Lifecodes gets rights to GeneScreen's patented genetic bit analysis, which is used in identity testing.
* Mycogen Corp., of San Diego, said a U.S. District Court jury ruled invalid St. Louis-based Monsanto Co.'s patent for modifying Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) to make plants resistant to insects. The case involved a patent infringement suit filed by Monsanto against Mycogen and Novartis AG, of Basel, Switzerland. In March, Mycogen won a California court jury award of $174.9 million against Monsanto for breach of contract on a licensing agreement involving Bt.
* Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Tarrytown, N.Y., received a $5 million milestone payment from Procter & Gamble Co., of Cincinnati, as part of their collaboration for development of Regeneron's Axokine for obesity associated with Type II diabetes. Axokine is a second generation ciliary neutrophic factor. The companies expect to file an investigational new dug application with the FDA late this year or early next year to begin clinical trials. Regeneron said it has received $10 million from Procter & Gamble, in addition to research funding, since the alliance on Axokine began in 1997. (See BioWorld Today, Oct. 1, 1997, p. 1.)
* Scriptgen Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Waltham, Mass., entered an agreement with Genome Therapeutics Corp., also of Waltham, for non-exclusive access to the latter's microbial sequence database, PathoGenome. Scriptgen will use the information to identify genetic targets for drug development. Scriptgen will pay Genome Therapeutics annual subscription fees, and milestone and royalty payments on products developed. Financial details were not disclosed.