* Atrix Laboratories Inc., of Fort Collins, Colo., entered an agreement with Pfizer Inc., of New York, for a feasibility study employing Atrix's delivery technology with a Pfizer drug used in veterinary medicine. Atrix also said it received a $100,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop its biodegradable polymers for delivering bone morphogenetic proteins to treat bone degeneration.
* Chiron Corp., of Emeryville, Calif., said its Chiron Vision business unit received European Union approval for Vitrasert Implant to treat cytomegalovirus retinitis in AIDS patients. The implant is designed to release the antiviral drug ganciclovir directly to the disease site. Chiron and its marketing partner Roche Holding Ltd., of Basel, Switzerland, began selling Vitrasert in 1996 in the U.S.
* Cypros Pharmaceutical Corp., of Carlsbad, Calif., completed its private placement of $5 million of preferred stock with Harvard University and another investor.
* Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Diego, said results of a Phase I/II trial of Targretin topical gel for cutaneous T cell lymphoma (CTCL) revealed a 43 percent response rate among 48 patients. The drug currently is in three Phase III studies for CTCL. Targretin is a small organic compound designed to activate a subclass of retinoid receptors involved in regulating cellular activities.
* Millennium Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., received a $100,000 Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Institutes of Health to discover new antimicrobial and antifungal agents by expressing genes from hard-to-culture fungi in laboratory fungal strains. Biochemicals generated by the transgenic fungi will be screened for therapeutic activity.
* Texas Biotechnology Corp., of Houston, said it raised $6 million in a private placement of 6,000 shares of five-percent cumulative convertible preferred stock to investment funds managed by the Palladin Group and Rose Glen Capital Group. Texas Biotechnology said the preferred shares can be converted to about 1.05 million common shares.
* Neurex Corp., of Menlo Park, Calif., said the FDA endorsed its plan for ongoing development of SNX-111 for chronic pain. The meeting was prompted after Neurex experienced problems in patient accrual for its Phase II/III studies. The company said the FDA's approval of refinements in the trials means Neurex remains on schedule for filing a new drug application three to six months after the studies are complete in 1997. SNX-111, a peptide compound derived from the venom of cone snails, blocks neuron-specific calcium channels and prevents transmission of pain sensations to the brain.
* Sepracor Inc., of Marlborough, Mass., said it sold 3.5 million shares of ChiRex Inc., of Wellesley, Mass., for $9.50 per share, raising $33.25 million in gross proceeds.
* U.S. Bioscience Inc., of West Conshohocken, Pa., completed its sale of 1.18 million shares to Alza Corp., of Palo Alto, Calif., for $18.26 per share, generating $21.5 million. The stock sale, giving Alza a 4.9 percent interest in U.S. Bioscience, is part of a marketing collaboration between the two companies that includes Ethyol, a cytoprotective agent used to reduce kidney toxicity in cancer chemotherapy. (See BioWorld Today, Feb. 5, 1997, p. 1.)