* Inhale Therapeutic Systems Inc., of San Carlos, Calif., and Baxter International Inc., of Deerfield, Ill., said they will reduce their focus to one compound that has completed Phase I trials. The companies have been collaborating for two years on development of dry powder formulations of undisclosed drugs using Inhale's technology. Development of two other compounds, including one that successfully completed Phase II studies, may be reactivated in the future.
* Molecular Biosystems Inc., of San Diego, said data from a Phase II trial of its oral ultrasound contrast imaging agent, Oralex, showed it can improve abdominal ultrasound images when compared with non-contrast and water-contrast imaging. The company said Oralex is designed to distend the stomach and displace bowel gas to provide a better view into the upper gastrointestinal system.
* SciClone Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Mateo, Calif., raised $4 million through the sale of 661,157 preferred shares at $6.05 per share to institutional investors. The preferred shares pay no dividend and are convertible to common stock on a scheduled basis over the next five years. Investors also received 100,000 five-year warrants to purchase SciClone stock at $5.67 per share.