* Aastrom Biosciences Inc., of Ann Arbor, Mich., received a $99,000 Phase I Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Institutes of Health to support development of the Aastrom Cell Production System for expansion of dendritic cells.
* Genetronics Biomedical Ltd., of San Diego, said results of experiments using electroporation therapy to treat human larynx tumors in mice were published in the March/April 1998 issue of Anticancer Research. Human larynx tumors were subcutaneously implanted in nude mice and then treated with the chemotherapeutic bleomycin, followed 10 minutes later by electrical pulsing, which opens the pores in cancer cells to facilitate entry of the drug. On day 67 after treatment, 83 percent of the 12 treated mice were free of tumors, while all mice in the three control groups had substantial increases in tumor size.
* Genomica Corp., of Boulder, Colo., established a Scientific Education Center in the department of molecular biology at Princeton University, in Princeton, N.J. The goal is to provide visitors, such as pharmaceutical executives, scientists and students, with the opportunity to learn how bioinformatics aids gene discovery. Genomica said it plans to set up other centers around the U.S.
* Ribozyme Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Boulder, Colo., received an exclusive worldwide license from Duke University, in Durham, N.C., for use of a ribozyme-based approach to treat sickle-cell anemia. The technology is related to using a ribozyme, or catalytic RNA molecule, to repair a genetic defect in the beta-globin gene that is responsible for causing the disease.
* Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., said data from Phase II trials showed its investigational HIV protease inhibitor, amprenavir, crosses the blood-brain barrier and may provide potent antiviral activity in the brain. Interim 32-week data showed eight of nine patients achieved viral load levels in cerebrospinal fluid below the limits of detection for the assay used.