* Bio-Rad Laboratories Inc., of Hercules, Calif., said its board of directors authorized the repurchase of up to $10 million shares of its common stock. The buyback will take place over an indefinite period of time, in market purchases or privately negotiated transactions. The board authorized repurchases in 1996 and 1997 of $4 million each.
* Bio-Technology General Corp., of Iselin, N.J., said an independent Data Safety and Monitoring Committee has examined findings from the first 180 patients in a Phase III clinical trial of OxSODrol (recombinant superoxide dismutase) to prevent lung damage in premature infants. The committee wants to expand its analysis, and include all neonates enrolled in the study through Feb. 1, which requires data on 115 more babies. The company began the trial in January 1997. (See BioWorld Today, Jan. 10, 1997, p. 1.)
* Biogen Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., said it will open a Canadian office in Mississauga, Ontario, at the end of February. The office will house sales, marketing and customer service operations. The company is conducting eight clinical trials in multiple sclerosis (MS) in Canada, where its MS drug Avonex (Interferon beta-1a) is not yet available.
* Protein Design Labs Inc., of Mountain View, Calif., along with partner Hoffmann-La Roche AG, of Basel, Switzerland, released data from clinical trials of Zenapax in uveitis and liver transplantation at the 3rd International Conference on New Trends in Clinical and Experimental Immunosuppression, in Geneva, Switzerland. The FDA approved the monoclonal antibody drug in December for prevention of kidney transplant rejection.
* BioSepra Inc., of Marlborough, Mass., obtained exclusive worldwide rights to Hydrophobic Charge Induction resin technology from Genencor International, of Rochester, N.Y. The technology adds to BioSepra's portfolio in the monoclonal antibody purification market. HIC is well-suited to treating large volumes, and unlike other methods does not require large amounts of salt.
* Elan Corp. plc, of Dublin, Ireland, said it will acquire distribution rights in the U.S. and Canada for Mysoline (primidone) from Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories Inc., of King of Prussia, Pa. (a division of Madison, N.J.-based American Home Products Corp.). Mysoline is an anticonvulsant used in treatment of epilepsy and seizure disorders. Elan will market the drug through its wholly owned subsidiary, Athena Neurosciences Inc., of South San Francisco.
* G.D. Searle & Co., of Chicago, the pharmaceutical unit of St. Louis-based Monsanto Co., agreed with Pfizer Inc., of New York, to copromote and develop Searle's celecoxib and its second-generation compound. Both are cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitors under development for arthritis and pain. Searle will receive an up-front payment of $85 million, and further terms were not disclosed. (See BioWorld Today, Dec. 26, 1996, p. 1.)
* Vysis Inc., of Downers Grove, Ill., signed two new distribution agreements, broadening its worldwide coverage to include Mexico, Brazil and Southern Africa. Omnichem, of Mexico City, will distribute Vysis products in Mexico and Brazil. BDS Diagnostics, of Pretoria, South Africa, will handle distribution in Southern Africa.
* Biomira Inc., of Edmonton, Alberta, reported preclinical data on BLP25, its liposomal formulation of the company's MUC-1 peptide vaccine for cancer treatment. The therapeutic effect appears to be related to an anti-MUC-1 T cell immune response induced by the vaccine in a metastatic lung cancer model.
* Cortech Inc., of Denver, filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission related to the company's merger with BioStar Inc., of Boulder, Colo. BioStar will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Cortech. The deal is valued at $15 million. (See BioWorld Today, Dec. 31, 1997, p. 1.)
* Cubist Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., signed an agreement with ACS DOBFAR SpA of Milan, Italy, under which the latter will manufacture and supply the antibiotic daptomycin for Phase III trials. Daptomycin is active against major gram-positive bacterial pathogens, including methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus and vancomycin-resistant Enterococci. Cubist plans to begin the trials of intravenous daptomycin, in-licensed from Eli Lilly and Co., of Indianapolis, late this year or early next.