* Abgenix Inc., of Fremont, Calif., signed a research license and option agreement that allows Genentech Inc., of South San Francisco, to use the former's XenoMouse technology to generate fully human antibodies to an undisclosed antigen target. Abgenix could receive license fees and milestone payments, plus royalties. Genentech will be responsible for the manufacturing, product development and marketing of any products developed through collaboration. Abgenix, a subsidiary of Cell Genesys Inc., of Foster City, Calif., developed technology that can generate antibody product candidates to any disease target appropriate for antibody therapy.
* Amarillo Biosciences Inc., of Amarillo, Texas, received a notice of registration from Ghana, allowing the company to sell Veldona, its low dose oral interferon alpha for the treatment of hepatitis B. Nearly 10 percent of the country's residents have hepatitis B. Distribution of Veldona should start by the end of this year via a local distributor who will coordinate delivery with Amarillo's agent, Mitsubishi Corp., of Tokyo.
* ArQule Inc., of Medford, Mass., and Acadia Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Diego, entered a collaboration for drug discovery and development using ArQule's Mapping Array program with Acadia's Receptor Selection and Amplification Technology (R-SAT). ArQule will develop libraries of small organic compounds for screening against biological targets identified through Acadia's techniques of gene function analysis. If any leads are found, the companies will optimize the compounds with Arqule's technology and use Acadia's R-SAT to define structure-activity relationship.
* Celtrix Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Santa Clara, Calif., said preclinical studies of SomatoKine show the drug prevents loss of both muscle weight and muscle protein, boosting evidence for the product's use to treat protein wasting diseases. In laboratory models of muscular atrophy, the company said animals treated with SomatoKine experienced 24 percent less muscle weight loss and 37 percent less muscle protein loss compared with untreated animals. SomatoKine is IGF-BP3, a complex of insulin-like growth factor-1 coupled with its binding protein.