* Biomira Inc., of Edmonton, Alberta, and Chiron Corp., of Emeryville, Calif., expanded their agreement for the development of the Theratope cancer vaccine. Biomira retains marketing rights in Canada and adds, through a wholly owned subsidiary, sole rights to marketing of the vaccine in other jurisdictions, such as Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific markets excluding Australia, Japan and the People's Republic of China. Theratope is a synthetic, carbohydrate-based vaccine designed to stimulate a patient's own immune system to control the disease with minimal side effects. If it wins FDA approval, it will be marketed by Chiron Therapeutics, the company's cancer drug marketing subsidiary. (See BioWorld Today, May 6, 1997, p. 1.)
* BioQuest Inc., of Houston, restructured its relationship with its subsidiary, Immune Complex Corp. (ICC), of San Diego. ICC's original shareholders will control ICC ,with BioQuest retaining a 20 percent interest. BioQuest will receive cash and promissory notes, and is relieved of any obligation for future funding of ICC's activities.
* Cephalon Inc., of West Chester, Pa., entered an agreement with Nippon Shoji Kaisha Ltd., of Osaka, Japan, for the development and marketing of modafinil in Japan. Cephalon will receive milestone payments and royalties based on product sales. Nippon plans to seek regulatory approval of the drug for treatment of narcolepsy, a sleep disorder.
* Immunex Corp., of Seattle, said advanced hormone-refractory prostate cancer (HRPC) patients experienced reduced pain when given Novantrone (mitoxantrone for injection concentrate) chemotherapy combined with prednisone. The cost was no greater than the cost for treatment with prednisone alone. A retrospective study showed the reduction in hospital admissions for Novantrone-treated patients more than offset the cost of the drug. Immunex markets Novantrone for treatment of advanced HRPC pain in combination with corticosteroids and other products used in the treatment of cancer.
* Medical Science Systems Inc., of Newport Beach, Calif., said it is moving its headquarters to San Antonio. The company's research center has been located in San Antonio since its incorporation in Texas in 1986, and the move is expected to reduce overhead and improve operating efficiency. It is scheduled to take place in mid-June.
* Molecular Biosystems Inc., of San Diego, said results from Phase II clinical trials with Optison, a contrast agent, show it may be useful for the evaluation of myocardial perfusion. Regulatory approval for Optison myocardial contrast echocardiography would expand the indications for the agent, currently approved in the U.S. and the European Union for use in patients with sub-optimal echocardiograms to opacify the left ventricle and to improve the delineation of the left ventricular endocardial borders.