* Aronex Pharmaceuticals Inc., of The Woodlands, Texas, said preliminary clinical results for its anticancer product, Atragen, are positive. Atragen, a liposomal form of all-trans retinoic acid, is in a Phase II clinical trial for acute promyelocytic leukemia in patients with a recurrence of the cancer. Aronex said at the American Society of Hematology's annual meeting in San Diego that the drug produced more durable remissions than the median of six months, with one patient whose remission continues through 17 months.
* Cerus Corp., of Concord, Calif., said a Phase I clinical study of its fresh frozen plasma (FFP) pathogen inactivation system showed that levels of coagulation factors after transfusion were not adversely affected by the treatment. Fifteen healthy subjects were transfused with treated and untreated FFP at various doses. The FFP system is its second to enter clinical trials using Cerus' proprietary compound to inactivate pathogens such as viruses, bacteria and protozoans in blood components for transfusion.
* Diatide Inc., of Londonderry, N.H., said it expects to complete by the end of the third quarter of 1997 enrollment in Phase III trials of its radiolabeled peptide tumor imaging agent, P829. The trials are for detection and localization of lung cancer. A new drug application is expected to be filed with the FDA in the first half of next year, and the company is exploring other applications of the agent, which was the subject of presentations at the Radiological Society of North America's annual meeting in Chicago, Ill.
* Receptagen Ltd., of Edmonds, Wash., signed the formal share exchange agreement related to its merger with Scitech Genetics Ltd., of Singapore. The agreement replaces the letter of intent, which was signed on Sept. 14. Receptagen has agreed to acquire all outstanding shares of SGL for $21.6 million. (See BioWorld Today, Sept. 19, 1997, p. 1.)