* Ergo Science Corp., of Boston, received a $10 million license payment from the R. W. Johnson Pharmaceutical Research Institute, a division of Johnson & Johnson, of New Brunswick, N.J. The payment was for developing and commercializing products for Type II diabetes and obesity, based on Ergo Science's Neuroendocrine Resetting Therapy, a neurotransmitter-modulating agent. This $10 million is the second half of the initial payment to Ergo.
GenVec Inc., of Rockville, Md., and Fuso Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., of Osaka, Japan, entered a collaborative agreement for the research, development and marketing of gene therapy for cancer. Fuso, which purchased an equity stake in GenVec, also will provide research and development funding as well as product development milestones. Fuso, as part of the deal, receives commercialization rights in Japan with an option for Korea and Taiwan for products developed by the two companies.
* ICN Pharmaceuticals Inc., of New York, has acquired a 33.7 percent stake in a Republic of Montenegro government-owned health care center in Igalo. The deal was structured with the Montenegrin government through ICN Yugoslavia. ICN will pay the government $1.2 million in cash and will assist in the healthcare privatization in the region.
* IGEN International Inc., of Gaithersburg, Md., extended and doubled its agreement with Agouron Pharmaceuticals Inc., of La Jolla, Calif., to screen drug candidates with a new application based on IGEN's Origen technology. After the final milestone is reached, Agouron will become the second customer for IGEN's High Throughput Drug Discovery System, which is based on the electrochemiluminescent module and is currently under development. Origen provides uniform assay formats that conduct diagnostic tests, including immunoassay, nucleic acid probes and clinical chemistry tests.
* Immune Response Corp., of Carlsbad, Calif., released preclinical data showing its IR8101 induced strong gamma interferon and IgG2A antibody responses in mice. Similar responses, called a cell-mediated time immune response, have been found in animals and humans who have been exposed to the HIV virus but remain protected. The vaccine consists of gp120-depleted whole-killed HIV-1 antigens.
* Siga Pharmaceuticals Inc., of New York, awarded a research grant to its academic founders at Rockefeller University and Oregon State University from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The grant, more than $800,000, will support Siga's Gram-positive commensal vectors that produce biological products for military defense applications. The U.S. military is interested in the work because it wants a vaccine or toxin-neutralizing agent.
* Structural Bioinformatics Inc., of San Diego, entered into a drug discovery partnership with Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical Corp. Ltd., of Tokyo, for an undisclosed target. As part of the deal, SBI will use its algorithms and computational skills to develop a list of required characteristics for small molecule drug candidates based on the shape of Yamanouchi's protein molecule target.
* Theratechnologies Inc., of Montreal, Canada, received a $350,000 grant from the National Research Council of Canada (NRCC) for use in testing its photodynamic treatment of cancers affecting bone marrow in three indications — non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, multiple myeloma and breast cancer.
* Triangle Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Durham, N.C., raised an additional $7.9 million in gross proceeds as a results of an overallotment option exercised by underwriters. The gross proceeds (including the over-allotment option) totaled $60.37 million. Managing underwriters were SBC Warburg Dillon Read Inc., and Bear, Stearns & Co., both of New York; and Vector Securities International Inc., of Deerfield, Ill. (See BioWorld Today, April 10, 1998, p. 1.)
* Tripos Inc., of St. Louis, entered a two-year collaboration to develop bioinformatics software applications for drug discovery with Jeffrey Skolnick and Adam Godzik of the Scripps Research Institute, of La Jolla, Calif. Bioinformatics involves the use of computational systems to manage large quantities of biological data. This partnership will produce new MatchMaker II software for rapid and accurate 3-D modeling of protein structures. Matchmaker I, for which Tripos has an exclusive distribution arrangement, is a homology modeling and analysis tool.