* Genzyme Transgenics Corp., of Framingham, Mass., said it will receive $4.4 million for continued development of human antithrombin III (ATIII), a blood clotting protein, from the milk of transgenic goats. The funding will be provided by SMI Genzyme Ltd., which is a joint venture between Genzyme Transgenics and Sumitomo Metals Inc., of Osaka, Japan. The collaboration was set up to create transgenic goat production of the protein, which currently is derived from human donor plasma. ATIII is used to control bleeding in people deficient in the blood clotting protein. Genzyme Transgenic's ATIII is in Phase II trials.
* IGG International Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., began a Phase I trial of its lead compound, GBC-590, a carbohydrate-based drug for cancer. The drug binds to proteins, called lectins, on the surface of tumor cells and appears to act as an anti-adhesive, preventing the spread of cancer.
* Ilex Oncology Inc., of San Antonio, raised another $2.4 million in connection with its February 1997 initial public offering when underwriters exercised overallotment options for purchase of 200,000 shares. The company raised a total of $32.4 million through the sale of 2.7 million shares at $12 per share. Ilex has 11.9 million shares outstanding. Underwriters were Salomon Brothers and Cowen & Co. and Smith Barney, all of New York. (See BioWorld Today, Feb. 24, 1997 p. 1.)
* Maxim Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Diego, received a $900,000 line of credit from the Silicon Valley Bank to fund equipment purchases for its research facilities.
* Molecular Informatics Inc., of Sante Fe, N.M., signed a licensing agreement with Chiron Corp., of Emeryville, Calif., for its use of Molecular Informatics BioMerge bioinformatics software. Financial terms were not disclosed. BioMerge is designed to integrate genomic data from multiple sources.
* Neurocrine Biosciences Inc., of San Diego, said results of Phase I trials of its lead compound, NBI-5788, for multiple sclerosis showed development of the drug should be continued. Neurocrine and its partner, Novartis AG, of Basel, Switzerland, intend to begin Phase II studies in mid-1997. NBI-5788 is a peptide vaccine consisting of peptide analogues of myelin basic sheath.
* Schering-Plough Corp., of Madison, N.J., said the FDA approved an extended therapy for Intron A, which is recombinant interferon alfa-2b, for treatment of hepatitis C. The drug, which was developed by Biogen Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., and licensed to Schering-Plough, was approved for a six-month treatment regimen. The new label permits therapy for 18 to 24 months. Intron A is approved for a variety of cancers and viral infections.
* Shaman Pharmaceuticals Inc., of South San Francisco, began a 50-patient pilot study of Provir for treatment of AIDS-related diarrhea. The clinical trial expands the company's current Phase II studies of the orally delivered drug. Provir is derived from the croton plant, a medicinal herb found in South America.