* Cambridge Antibody Technology Group plc, of Royston, U.K., obtained U.K. approval for a Phase I/IIa trial of its human anti-transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta 2 monoclonal antibody in patients undergoing glaucoma filtration surgery. Anti-TGF beta 2 neutralizes the cytokine TGF beta 2, which is believed to be responsible for fibrosis in and around the eye following surgery for the treatment of glaucoma. Such fibrosis is the main cause of failure of this type of surgery. The trial will involve 24 patients in two centers. Preclinical results, presented last month, showed potent activity against scarring after glaucoma surgery, and in a model for proliferative vitreoretinopathy.
* Oxford Biomedica plc, of Oxford, U.K., a gene therapy firm, raised another £1.43 million through a rights issue, following a successful placing of new shares in March that raised £4.5 million. The company, founded in 1995, was floated on the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange in December 1996. The money is needed for a clinical trial in cancer.