* Biohybrid Inc., of Denver, received a $99,000 Phase I Small Business Innovation research grant from the National Cancer Institute to develop hybrid, or bispecific, antibodies to activate the immune system to attack tumors. The company also is designing antibodies that suppress the immune system to prevent organ transplant rejection.
* Cytel Corp., of San Diego, reported positive data from Phase I/II trials of Cylexin for prevention of reperfusion injury in infants following surgery for congestive heart failure. The company said "results indicated good tolerability and strong trends in favor of reducing some important clinical manifestations of reperfusion injury and length of hospital stay." Cylexin is a small molecule carbohydrate that acts as a cell adhesion inhibitor.
* Genelabs Technologies Inc., of Redwood City, Calif., said it completed analysis of a Phase III trial of a dehydroepiandrosterone-based drug, GL701, for systemic lupus erythematosus and will present the data in November at the American College of Rheumatology conference, in Washington. The company said the results were submitted to the FDA for evaluation to determine how Genelabs will proceed with its new drug application. Preliminary results of the Phase III in April indicated GL701 did not achieve statistical significance in its primary endpoint. (See BioWorld Today, April 28, 1997, p. 1.)
* Gliatech Inc., of Cleveland, received a $100,000 Phase I Small Business Innovation grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke to clone the human histamine H3 receptor, which is localized in the brain and is linked to cognitive and arousal states. The company's preclinical studies have evaluated drug candidates that increase histamine to boost attention for treatment of attention deficit hyperactive disorder, Alzheimer's disease and narcolepsy.
* NanoSystems L.L.C., of King of Prussia, Pa., said it received an undisclosed milestone payment from Janssen Pharmaceutica N.V., of Beerse, Belgium, related to their collaboration for development of a NanoCrystal form of a marketed Janssen drug, which was not identified. NanoSystems' technology is designed to improve delivery of compounds that are difficult to dissolve in water. The milestone payment coincided with Janssen's submission of an investigational new drug application to begin clinical trials. Janssen is a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, of New Brunswick, N.J.
* OraVax Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., signed an agreement with London-based Medeva P.L.C.'s subsidiary, Evans Medical, to distribute and market in the U.S. the latter's live attenuated yellow fever vaccine, called Arilvax. Financial terms were not disclosed. OraVax will conduct clinical trials for FDA approval of the vaccine and will assist in regulatory approvals in markets outside the U.S.
* Pharmacopeia Inc., of Princeton, N.J., extended its drug discovery collaboration with Schering-Plough Corp., of Madison, N.J., for small molecule compounds to treat hepatitis in addition to cancer and asthma. Schering-Plough will provide additional research and development funding, but the amount was not disclosed. The two companies began collaborating in 1994. (See BioWorld Today, Dec. 23, 1994, p. 1.)
* Sequana Therapeutics Inc., of La Jolla, Calif., received a Phase I Small Business Innovation research grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences to support development of the company's rapid mouse model production (RAMMP), which is used to study the function of human disease genes. Sequana said its RAMMP transgenic technology can produce mouse knockout models of human disease 50 times faster than conventional methods.
* SUGEN Inc., of Redwood City, Calif., began a Phase I trial of its anticancer drug, SU5416, for treatment of solid tumors and tumor metastases. SU5416 is designed to inhibit angiogenesis, the process by which new blood vessels are formed to sustain tumor growth. The study will evaluate the safety and dose range for the drug in patients with advanced malignancies who have failed previous therapies.