* ArQule Inc., of Medford, Mass., entered into a sponsored research agreement with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, in Boston, for the discovery and design of novel therapeutics for treatment of bone and mineral diseases. ArQule will select and assess compounds from its Mapping Array program, using Beth Israel's proprietary assays for biological actions on bone. Any active leads identified will be optimized using ArQule's Directed Array program.
* Cel-Sci Corp., of Alexandria, Va., completed enrollment in a Phase I trial using Multikine as a therapy for HIV-infected patients. The 14-patient study is expected to be completed in the second half of 1998. A natural mixture of cytokines, Multikine is also undergoing clinical trials in patients with head and neck cancer in the U.S., Canada and Israel.
* Chiron Corp., of Emeryville, Calif., formed a joint venture for vaccines with Hoechst Marion Roussel Ltd. (HMR), of Ankleshwar, Gujarat, India. Chiron has purchased HMR's existing cell culture vaccine manufacturing facility. The joint venture will be known as Chiron Behring Vaccines Private Ltd. and will be owned 51 percent by Chiron and 49 percent by HMR.
* Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Carlsbad, Calif., and CIBA Vision Corp., of Atlanta, filed a marketing authorization application (MAA) for fomivirsen with the European Agency for the Evaluation of Medicinal Products. CIBA Vision is the eye care unit of Basel, Switzerland-based Novartis AG. The MAA for fomivirsen — an antisense drug for treating cytomegalovirus retinitis — contains the same safety and efficacy information and indication included in the new drug application filed with the FDA in April. (See BioWorld Today, April 10, 1998, p. 1.)