* Alpha Therapeutic Corp., of Los Angeles, completed dosimetry of Oncolym, a radiolabeled monoclonal antibody being studied for treatment of non-Hodgkin's B-cell lymphoma. Alpha, which is developing the drug in partnership with Techniclone Corp., of Tustin, Calif., met with FDA officials and received the go-ahead to proceed with clinical evaluation, with some modifications. Alpha has been conducting and funding the clinical study of Oncolym since 1992, and maintains marketing and distribution rights in North and South America and Asia, under terms of a licensing agreement with Techniclone, which retains exclusive manufacturing rights. Alpha is a subsidiary of Green Cross Corp., of Osaka, Japan
* Chiron Diagnostics, a business unit of Chiron Corp., of Emeryville, Calif., entered into a technology transfer agreement with Shanghai Long March-Trace Medical Science Co. Ltd., in Shanghai, China. The deal is for the manufacture and distribution of Chiron's critical care and routine chemistry reagents in the People's Republic of China. Chiron Diagnostics will acquire a 22 percent equity interest in the company, which will change its name to Shanghai Long March-Trace Chiron Medical Science Co. Ltd., and Chiron will hold two seats on the joint venture company's board of directors.
* Cypros Pharmaceutical Corp., of Carlsbad, Calif., reported its neuronal calcium channel blockers showed protection of brain tissue when administered post-stroke in an animal model. The non-peptide, small molecule agents, which inhibit the release of the potentially brain-damaging neurotransmitter glutamate, were discovered by Cypros' scientists. They reported on the agents at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in New Orleans.
* Guilford Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Baltimore, presented animal data that suggest its prototype compound, GPI-5000, represents a new target for treating stroke. The compound works by inhibiting N-acetylated-alpha-linked-acidic-dipeptidase, thereby regulating the production and release of glutamate. Released in large amounts, as during stroke, glutamate is toxic. Scientists presented their data at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in New Orleans.
* Kimeragen Inc., of Newtown, Pa., signed a non-exclusive license agreement with Hoechst Schering AgrEvo GmbH, of Berlin, Germany, covering the use of Kimeragen's Chimeraplasty technology. The technology is based on inducing site-specific mutations using a chimeric oligonucleotide and is applicable in plant, bacterial or human DNA. AgrEvo wants to identify specific plant gene functions, and will use the technology with its plant biotech subsidiary, Plant Genetic Systems NG. Hoechst Schering AgrEvo is a joint venture between Hoechst AG, of Frankfurt, Germany, and Schering AG, of Berlin.
* Myriad Genetics Inc., of Salt Lake City, presented research at the annual meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics, in Baltimore, that could help doctors determine which patients should be tested for mutations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 breast cancer genes. According to the study, women who develop breast cancer before age 50 have a 20 percent chance of carrying BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutations if they have at least one relative under age 50 with breast cancer or one relative at any age with ovarian cancer.
* Perkin-Elmer Corp., of Norwalk, Conn., and PerSeptive Biosystems Inc., of Framingham, Mass., received a request for additional information from the U.S. Department of Justice in connection with their $360 million merger agreement, announced in August. The companies still expect to complete the transaction by year-end. PerSeptive's shareholder meeting to vote on the transaction is scheduled for Dec. 4.
* Signal Pharmaceuticals, of La Jolla Calif., identified drug targets that control the NF-kB gene regulating pathway. NF-kB (nuclear factor kappa-B) is a master regulator of a broad set of inflammatory genes, including tumor necrosis factor and interleukin-1, and cell adhesion molecules, which give rise to immune-inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, asthma and psoriasis. Scientific evidence suggests NF-kB is involved in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular and neurogenerative diseases, as well as cancer. The findings were reported in the Oct. 31, 1997, issue of Science.
* Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., presented rodent-model data on the oral neurophilin compound VA-10367 at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, in New Orleans. The drug accelerated functional recovery and nerve regeneration. Neurophilins are under development at Vertex for the treatment of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, along with nerve injuries stemming from stroke or trauma.
* Vysis Inc., of Baltimore, received FDA marketing clearance for the AneuVysion Assay, a prenatal genetic test for Down syndrome and other chromosomal disorders associated with mental retardation and birth defects.