* Palatin Technologies Inc., of Princeton, N.J., inked a deal that grants it the exclusive rights to develop and market worldwide a patented peptide analogue of a hormone for the diagnosis and treatment of male erectile dysfunction. The license was granted by Fairfield, Conn.-based Competitive Technologies Inc. In double-blind clinical trials, 80 percent of the men achieved clinically significant erectile response when the PT-14 compound was administered. PT-14 activates melanocortin receptors in the brain, causing normal sexual arousal. Currently Palatin is finishing its clinical development plans for PT-14 and establishing production procedures in line with the FDA's Good Manufacturing Practices.
* SmithKline Beecham plc, of London, licensed the Object Protocol Model (OPM)-based bioinformatics system and software tools developed by Gene Logic Inc., of Gaithersburg, Md. The two companies will collaborate on development of a series of customized databases and servers to integrate a wide range of public and proprietary genomic and biological data sources. The OPM allows for the rapid development of relational databases, integration of relational and flat file databases and the building of cross-database query systems.
* Sparta Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Horsham, Pa., completed the patient treatment portion of its Phase I clinical trial in adults using Spartaject technology for intravenous delivery of busulfan as a bone marrow ablating agent for bone marrow transplant patients, who require high doses of the drug. Because the drug is poorly soluble in water and has been available only in tablets, patients must swallow an uncomfortable number of pills, and absorption may vary. Sparta believes intravenous administration may overcome those difficulties.
* SunPharm Corp., of Jacksonville, Fla., reported data from a Phase II trial of diethylhomospermine, under development for refractory AIDS-related diarrhea. Results demonstrated clinical benefit to patients, including a significant decrease in stool frequency and volume, as well as decreased fecal water loss and increased weight and hydration. Beneficial effects were found to continue for approximately six weeks after therapy was completed.
* ZymeTx Inc., of Oklahoma City, signed a letter of intent with the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation to license a technology that, in laboratory tests, showed a reduction of HIV. The lead compound, internally designated ZX0851, can be used as a single therapy or in a mix with other therapeutic compounds. The company, upon successful completion of current preclinical studies, intends to file an investigational new drug application with the FDA to begin clinical trials.