* Anergen Inc., of Redwood City, Calif., submitted an investigational new drug application to the FDA to commence a clinical evaluation of AnergiX for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. The filing marks a milestone in Anergen's collaboration with N.V. Organon, of Oss, the Netherlands. AnergiX is a selective down-regulator of T cells that cause the inflammatory autoimmune process. N.V. Organon is a unit of Akzo Nobel, of Arnhem, the Netherlands.* Chrysalis International Corp., of Raritan, N.J., and MDS Inc., of Princeton, N.J., established a strategic initiative to explore linking their drug development service capabilities. The agreement includes a $5 million investment by MDS in Chrysalis through a subordinated debenture. As part of the financing, MDS will receive warrants to purchase 2 million shares of Chrysalis (about 15 percent of the company) at $2.50 per share.
* Immunex Corp., of Seattle, said the FDA has designated Enbrel as a fast-track product for the treatment of advanced rheumatoid arthritis patients. Under the FDA Modernization Act of 1997, the agency takes appropriate actions to expedite development of products categorized as fast-track Products. Enbrel is a protein-based drug that inhibits the binding of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) to cell surface receptors, blocking TNF's adverse biological activity.