* Dyax Corp., of Cambridge, Mass., and SangStat Medical Corp., of Menlo Park, Calif., signed a research and license agreement to discover peptides for use with SangStat's Xenoject technology. Dyax will use its phage display technology to screen its libraries for peptides that bind to a specific molecular component of immune cells. SangStat will then combine the peptides with its Xenoject technology platform to develop potential therapeutic products for several fields, including transplantation. Xenoject is designed to develop drug candidates combining a ligand, such as a peptide, that can bind to a cell with a marker that mimics a pig carbohydrate antigen. After binding to the targeted cells, the drug coats them with the marker to attract natural antibodies to attack the cells.
* Genzyme Tissue Repair, of Cambridge, Mass., reported that 86 percent of patients treated with Carticel autologous cultured chondrocytes showed improvement two years after therapy. Patients received Carticel to repair damaged cartilage on the thigh-bone part of the knee. The data are from the fourth report of Genzyme Tissue Repair's Cartilage Repair Registry.
* Inex Pharmaceuticals Corp., of Vancouver, Can-
ada, closed a deal for the acquisition of a portfolio of antisense drugs, patents and manufacturing facilities from Lynx Therapeutics Inc., of Hayward, Calif. Inex Will pay US$3 million plus 1.2 million common shares. The assets covered in the deal include the drug LR-3280, now in Phase II clinical trials for cardiovascular restenosis. The drug is partnered with Schwarz Pharma AG, of Monheim, Germany, and Tanabe Seiyaku Co. Ltd., of Osaka, Japan.
* Pangea Systems Inc., of Oakland, Calif., launched a commercial data set of bioinformatics for Escherichia coli called EcoCyc 4.0, which the company described as the most comprehensive annotation of the genome of any organism to date. Researchers can explore the integrated metabolic pathways data set using a graphical user interface that permits "intuitive" navigation, by visualizing individual pathways or an entire metabolic map.
* SciClone Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Mateo, Calif., said a preclinical study of Zadaxin (thymosin alpha 1) showed significant impact on wound healing and enhanced angiogenesis, the formation of new blood vessels, which could benefit tissue repair. Zadaxin is marketed in China, the Philippines and Singapore for the treatment of hepatitis B.
* Select Therapeutics Inc., of Chestnut Hill, Mass., entered into a license and research agreement with the Toronto Hospital for Sick Children. The collaboration is designed to explore a new approach to antibiotic therapeutics. Early testing of the some of the subject compounds — existing antibiotics that have been chemically modified to change the way they bind to bacteria — has revealed encouraging data.
*Visible Genetics Inc., of Toronto, Canada, launched manufacturing and sales of its HIV GeneKit for research-sequencing applications, with an initial order, valued at $85,000, from an undisclosed European institution. The HIV kit, the company said, makes it possible to rapidly genotype therapeutically critical regions of the virus.