* Atlantic Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Raleigh, N.C., said it is developing a group of drugs known as sulfated cyclodextrins, which have been shown in preclinical tests to reduce by an average of 50 percent the re-narrowing of blood vessels, or restenosis, a common response to angioplasty and other vascular procedures. Restenosis rates with angioplasty vary from 20 to 50 percent. Coronary bypass grafts also show high rates of restenosis.
* Aurora Biosciences Corp., of La Jolla, Calif., obtained from the University of California, in San Diego, an exclusive worldwide license for patent rights related to fluorescent indicators for measuring signaling events within cells. The company believes the indicators will be valuable in high-throughput screening using human cell-based assays. Aurora develops drug discovery systems with collaborators that include Bristol-Meyers Squibb Co., of New York; Eli Lilly and Co., of Indianapolis; and Allelix Biopharmaceuticals Inc., of Mississauga, Ontario.
* AVAX Technologies Inc., of Kansas City, Mo., initiated a Phase II clinical trial for O-Vax, the company's therapeutic vaccine for advanced ovarian cancer. The study's objective is to determine whether the vaccine induces an immune response in humans. Each of the first several patients have shown a developed immune response, as measured by delayed-type hypersensitivity.