* Atrix Laboratories Inc., of Fort Collins, Colo., applied for marketing clearance of its periodontal disease drug Atridox in the United Kingdom. Atridox is a slow-release formulation of the antibiotic doxycycline. It is placed in the infected periodontal pocket as a fluid, quickly solidifies and releases doxycycline over the course of a week as it biodegrades.

* CEL-SCI Corp., of Alexandria, Va., reported that James Talmadge, professor in the department of pathology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, in Omaha, received a $219,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health to fund a mouse study of several forms of the company's HGP-30 vaccine antigen, along with new cytokines supplied Immunex Corp., of Seattle. Enhancing dendritic cell function with cytokines could improve the response to HGP-30, according to CEL-SCI.

* Copernicus Gene Systems Inc., of Cleveland, received a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research grant of $100,000 to study a potential gene therapy for liver cancer.

* COR Therapeutics Inc., of South San Francisco, raised another $8.265 million in association with its recent public offering after underwriters exercised overallotment options for 435,000 shares. The company sold a total of 3.335 million shares in the offering at $19 per share for $63.365 million. Net proceeds were $59.2 million. Underwriters were BancAmerica Robertson Stephens and Hambrecht & Quist L.L.C., both of San Francisco; and Oppenheimer & Co. Inc., of New York. (See BioWorld Today, Oct. 8, 1997, p. 1.)

* Hyseq Inc., of Sunnyvale, Calif., concluded its agreement to pursue diagnostic technologies with SmithKline Beecham Clinical Laboratories Inc., of Collegeville, Pa. The two companies will consider further diagnostic applications of HyGnostics Module and its underlying technology, which is sequencing by hybridization. Hyseq maintains a database of partial gene sequences called HyGenomics. SmithKline Beecham Clinical Laboratories is a division of London-based SmithKline Beecham P.L.C.

* ImClone Systems Inc., of New York, and CombiChem Inc., of San Diego, launched a collaboration to develop small molecules against selected targets for the treatment of cancer. CombiChem will generate lead candidates and ImClone will test them against its biological assays, to determine activity against key receptors and signaling molecules associated with cancer. ImClone will provide research funding for two years, with milestone payments and royalties on marketed products.

* Integra LifeSciences Corp., of Plainsboro, N.J., received approval to market its Integra Artificial Skin in Taiwan. The permanent "dermal regeneration template" is marketed in about 19 countries, including the U.S. and Canada. It is helpful to burn victims, of which Taiwan has about 2,200 critical cases each year.

* Nanogen Inc., of San Diego, and Becton, Dickinson and Co., of Franklin Lakes, N.J., formed a joint venture to develop test systems in the field of in vitro nucleic acid-based diagnostic and monitoring technologies. The test systems will be based on Nanogen's DNA microchip and instrumentation technology and Becton Dickinson's system for DNA amplification. Funding and equity components of the joint venture could total more than $55 million.

* Neoprobe Corp., of Dublin, Ohio, and U.S. Surgical Corp., of Norwalk, Conn., terminated their marketing agreement related to Neoprobe's products for the surgical detection of cancer. The transition may include additional purchases by U.S. Surgical of Neoprobe's lymphatic mapping devices. Neoprobe also announced the launch of its 1500 Portable Radioisotope Detector, which is hand-held, detects gamma rays and can be used externally as well as intraoperatively to track an injected radiopharmaceutical in the body.

* PathoGenesis Corp., of Seattle, began an open-label Phase II clinical trial at San Francisco General Hospital. The eight-day trial will test the company's tobramycin solution for inhalation in 15 to 20 patients with contagious pulmonary tuberculosis. Results are expected to be announced in 1998.

* Point Therapeutics Inc. (formerly Immune Therapeutics Inc.), of Boston, completed at $2.8 million initial financing. Lead investors were Cloflin Capital Management, of Boston, and Graystone Venture Partners, of Northfield, Ill. The funds will be used for developing therapeutics against cancer, AIDS and infectious diseases.

* Advanced Tissues Sciences Inc., of La Jolla, Calif., has been awarded at $2 million grant from the Advanced Technology Program of the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The company will lead a multi-disciplinary effort to design, construct and evaluate tissue-engineered vascular grafts produced from cells grown on a biocompatible scaffold. For the three-year grant period, it will collaborate with the University of California, San Diego.

* AVAX Technologies Inc., of Kansas City, Mo., began a Phase II clinical trial for its O-Vax, a vaccine for ovarian cancer. In the first several patients, immune response to their own cancer cells developed, as measured by delayed-type hypersensitivity. The company's AC vaccine for melanoma showed positive results in terms of progression-free and overall survival.

No Comments