* Collateral Therapeutics Inc., of San Diego, amended its Securities and Exchange Commission registration for an initial public offering. The company reduced the estimated offering price to $8 from the original projected range of $11 to $13 per share. The company proposed selling 3.3 million shares. (See BioWorld Today, April 28, 1998, p. 1.)
* Inflazyme Pharmaceuticals Ltd., of Richmond, British Columbia, completed a $6 million private placement that will be used to fund ongoing research. Investors in this financing round were: Biotechnology Investments Ltd., of London; The Goldman Sachs Group, L.P., of New York; Royal Bank Capital Corp., of Ottawa; and Royal Trust Corp. of Canada, of Toronto.
* Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Carlsbad, Calif., and Ciba Vision Corp., of Atlanta, reported the FDA accepted their new drug application for Vitraven (fomivirsen) under priority review process. Vitraven, a compound based on antisense technology, is a treatment for cytomegalovirus (CMV), an opportunistic infection in AIDS patients that results in blindness. Ciba Vision is part of Novartis AG, of Basel, Switzerland.
* Organogenesis Inc., of Canton, Mass., started a prospective, controlled, multicenter study of Apligraf (Graftskin) for treatment of skin cancer removal wounds. The trial focuses on elements of wound healing inadequately served with traditional technologies, such as dressings. The study will involve 180 patients who will receive either Apligraf or dressings. Apligraf, a living skin equivalent engineered from the discarded foreskins of human infants, was approved by the FDA in May for treatment of venous leg ulcers.
* Trimeris Inc., of Durham, N.C., began patient selection and dosing in a Phase II HIV trial. The study, which will enroll up to 40 HIV patients, will access the optimal dosing for T-20 and the feasibility of administering the drug with an infusion pump. T-20 is an anti-viral compound designed to block both virus-to-cell and cell-to-cell membrane fusion, thus preventing an early step in the spread of viral infection.
* Unigene Laboratories Inc., of Fairfield, N.J., reported that Warner-Lambert Co., of Morris Plains, N.J., was successful in preclinical trials with its oral calcitonic product for osteoporosis. Testing in humans should start later this year.
* Xoma Corp., of Berkeley, Calif., said the FDA granted orphan drug status to Neuprex for severe meningococcal disease. The designation gives Xoma exclusive marketing rights for seven years. Neuprex is in Phase III trials for the children's disease. The company expects to file for approval in the U.S. and Europe in 1999. Neuprex, Xoma's lead product, is derived from bactericidal/permeability-increasing protein, a human host-defense protein found in white blood cells.
* Zeneca Inc., of Wilmington, Del., reported that Elucigene K-RAS7, its test for cancer, is now available in Europe. The test detects gene abnormalities associated with bowel, pancreatic and lung cancers. The test, which uses Zeneca's Amplification Refractory Mutation System (ARMS) technology, detects seven frequently found mutations in the Kirsten ras oncogene. Zeneca Diagnostics is part of Zeneca Group plc, of London.