* CuraGen Corp., of New Haven, Conn., and Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc., of Des Moines, Iowa., expanded their ongoing gene discovery collaboration. The expansion will double Pioneer's annual funding of CuraGen from $2.5 million to a minimum of $5 million. Originally, Pioneer made a $7.5 million equity investment and a commitment to fund research at CuraGen for five years, starting in June 1997. The companies have discovered a number of plant genes that may be key to improving crop production and quality.
* Genetronics Biomedical Ltd., of Toronto, received gross proceeds of C$600,000 (US$418,730) through the exercise of 200,000 special warrants at C$3.30 (US$2.30) per share. Canard Capital Corp., of Vancouver, British Columbia, exercised warrants for 108,000 shares and Index Securities, of Geneva, for 92,000 shares. The warrants were part of aMay 1997 private placement.
* MonoGen Inc., of Herndon, Va., entered into an agreement with Columbia Diagnostics Inc., of Springfield, Va. to distribute the MonoPrep2 to clinical laboratories, reference labs and hospitals. MonoPrep2 is a liquid-based monolayer slide preparation system that can be used in the areas of cytology, histology and flow cytometry. Columbia's representatives will begin distributing MonoPrep2 at the end of the month.
* Protein Polymer Technologies Inc., of San Diego, reached agreement with a small group of investors on the terms of a private placement of Series E convertible preferred stock. The company expects to receive about $3.3 million at initial closing, expected to occur in late April. Each share is priced at $100, and the total offering of up to 55,000 shares provides for multiple closings until the middle of May.
Repligen Corp., of Needham, Mass., received a $750,000 Phase II Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Cancer Institute to support development of small molecule inhibitors of angiogenesis, or new blood vessel growth. Angiogensis is a process necessary for the growth of solid tumors. It also may be involved in several ocular diseases, including macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. The grant will support optimizing lead compounds to improve their potency and continued preclinical investigation of these inhibitors.
* T Cell Sciences Inc., of Needham, Mass., said results from a Phase I/II trial of its lead drug, TP10, for patients undergoing lung transplants showed the therapy was safe and well tolerated. TP10 is the product name for soluble complement receptor 1, which is the first product candidate among a new class of therapeutics T Cell Sciences is developing based on inhibiting complement activation. Complement is a family of immune system proteins that circulate in the blood and play a role in the body's natural defenses.