* Abgenix Inc., of Fremont, Calif., initiated a confirmatory Phase II trial of ABX-CBL, a monoclonal antibody that reverses specific unwanted immune responses without causing general immune suppression. The drug's first target is steroid-resistant graft-vs.-host disease, a complication of bone-marrow transplants in leukemia patients. Preliminary results are expected by the third quarter of 1998.
* Cambridge NeuroScience Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., completed a Phase I trial comparing the effects of CNS 5161 to morphine and placebo in volunteers exposed to pain. In the higher of two dosages, the drug significantly reduced perceived pain. The first of a series of small molecules under development at the company for neuropathic pain and migraine, CNS 5161 is a non-competitive blocker of the N-methyl D-aspartate (NMDA) ion-channel complex.