* BioChem Pharma Inc., of Laval, Quebec, presented positive findings on lamivudine, a new treatment for hepatitis B. Lamivudine, a novel oral anti-viral treatment that directly attacks the hepatitis B virus, is under development by Glaxo Wellcome plc, of London. Studies show that lamivudine consistently produces a marked reduction in hepatitis B virus replications.
* CytRx Corp. of Atlanta, reached an agreement with Abbott Laboratories, of Abbott Park, Ill., to manufacture Flocor. Abbott will sterile-fill Flocor for CytRx as well as manage their respective portion of the chemistry manufacturing and controls section of the planned filing of a new drug application with the FDA. Flocor (purified poloxamer 188) is a surfactant molecule that works by altering the way cells and molecules interact with water, rather than by binding to receptors.
* Endogen Inc., of Woburn, Mass., and Third Wave Technologies Inc., of Madison, Wis., said extensive progress toward the commercialization of cytokine applications of Third Wave's technology has been made and they expect mRNA detection kits to be on the market by the second half of this year. The technology measures gene expression. As mRNA molecules are identified, researchers can track gene expression patterns within cells or tissues for study for diseases such as cancer, autiommune disorders and AIDS.
* Neurobiological Technologies Inc., of Richmond, Calif., formed a research and marketing alliance with Merz + Co. GmbH & Co., of Frankfurt, Germany, and a revenue sharing partnership with Children's Medical Center Corp., of Boston, to develop and market Memantine, an oral neuroprotective agent. Children's Medical Center is terminating its license to NTI for AIDS-related dementia and neuropathic pain and giving exclusive rights to Merz. In exchange, NTI gets an up-front payment of $2.1 million from Merz. NTI and the medical center now share in the revenues from the sale of Memantine for neuropathic pain and AIDS-related dementia, as well as for dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
* 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 2 diabetes and obesity, based on Ergo Science's novel Neuroendocrine Resetting Therapy, a neurotransmitter-modulating agent. This $10 million is the second half of the initial payment to Ergo.
* Reprogen Inc., of Irvine, Calif. received $1.4 million in a second act of a private financing effort that brings the total effort to $6.5 million. New participants include: Life Science Ventures, a venture capital fund based in Munich, Germany; and Hambrecht & Quist, of New York. The capital will allow the company to continue characterizing novel drug targets involved in reproductive diseases.
* Tripos Inc., of St. Louis, and MDS Panlabs, of Toronto, restructured their joint arrangement so that Tripos will retain an economic interest in the Optiverse business while sales and distribution will transfer to MDS Panlabs. The companies will continue to work together on contract R&D projects with commercial sponsors utilizing Optiverse chemicals and technology. Optiverse is a collection of chemicals used by pharmaceutical researchers to find molecular structures that react with proteins, enzymes and other cell components involved in human diseases.