* CoCensys Inc., of Irvine, Calif., licensed a class of small molecule, sodium-channel blockers from the University of Saskatchewan, of Saskatoon, Canada, with anticonvulsant activities that may also prove therapeutic in neuropathic pain. CoCensys will pay a licensing fee, milestones and royalties on commercialized products, and will sponsor research at the university for three years. Additional terms were not disclosed.
* Creative Biomolecules Inc., of Hopkinton, Mass., presented preclinical rodent data at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, in New Orleans, on the use of OP-1 as a stroke therapy. Animals receiving one injection of the morphogenic protein 24 hours after stroke regained close to 80 percent of normal motor function, compared with 50 percent in the control group.
* Gensia Laboratories Ltd., of Irvine Calif., signed a five-year product development and supply agreement with SEQUUS Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Menlo Park, Calif. Under the agreement, whose terms were undisclosed, Gensia will manufacture SEQUUS' Stealth liposomal products. Gensia Laboratories is a subsidiary of Gensia Sicor Inc., of San Diego.
* ICOS Corp., of Bothell, Wash., initiated a Phase II trial in asthmatic patients of rPAF-AH, the recombinant form of a human enzyme that regulates the levels of platelet-activating factor. The placebo-controlled trial is designed to determine the safety and efficacy of rPAF-AH on allergan-induced asthmatic responses.
* HemaSure Inc., of Marlborough, Mass., failed as of June 30 to meet the Nasdaq stock exchange's listing requirement of $4 million in net tangible assets. The company's shares (NASDAQ:HMSRC) have moved from the exchange's National Market to the SmallCap Market, but may be delisted from Nasdaq if the company fails to meet certain conditions by Jan. 12, 1998. The company said it believes it can meet the conditions.
* IDUN Pharmaceuticals Inc., of La Jolla, Calif., identified proteases involved in neuronal apoptosis in preclinical tests employing a stroke model. Caspases — intracellular proteases responsible for initiating the cascade of events that lead to cellular destruction — appear to be activated in neurons undergoing apoptotic cell death both in tissue culture models and in the brains of mice subjected to ischemic stroke. The research was presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, in New Orleans.
* Kendle International Inc., of Cincinnati, signed a letter of intent to pay $36 million — 1.2 million shares of Kendle stock and $17 million in cash — to acquire ACER/EXCEL Inc., of Cranford, N.J. Both are clinical research organizations.
* Miravant Medical Technologies, of Santa Barbara, Calif., and Medicis Pharmaceutical Corp., of Phoenix, signed a collaboration agreement for Miravant's PhotoPoint technology, a procedure that uses light-activated drugs to destroy fast-dividing cells. Medicis gains U.S. marketing rights for dermatology applications.
* AntiCancer Inc., of San Diego, has isolated an enzyme — homocysteinase — that could form the basis of a test for homocysteine.Elevated levels of homocysteine have been linked to heart attacks.
* BioStar Inc., of Boulder, Colo., won an $850,000 Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Institutes of Health.The grant will help fund development of rapid tests for sexually transmitted diseases.
* Calypte Biomedical Corp., of Berkeley, Calif., published research showing that a combination of urine and blood-based tests can detect antibodies to HIV-1 with greater sensitivity than either test alone. Results are published in the November issue of Nature Medicine.
* Celgene Corp., of Warren, N.J., is seeking to raise $28.4 million through a public offering of 2.6 million shares at an assumed price of $10.938 per share. The underwriters — SBC Warburg Dillon Read Inc., Prudential Securities Inc., and Lowenbaum & Co., all of New York — have an overallotment option of 390,000 shares. In September, Celgene received an approvable letter from the FDA for the use of thalidomide as a treatment for a debilitating condition associated with leprosy.