* Alkermes Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., said it completed the sale of 2 million shares to Alza Corp., of Palo Alto, Calif., in a private placement that raised $50 million. (See BioWorld Today, Feb. 18, 1997, p.1.)
* Antex Biologics Inc., of Gaithersburg, Md., said results of a Phase I study of its orally administered vaccine against Campylobacter bacteria, which can cause severe diarrhea, showed the treatment was safe and well-tolerated. Clinical trials of the vaccine, which is combined with a mucosal adjuvant, are being conducted in association with the U.S. Navy and Army.
* Apex Bioscience Inc., of Research Triangle Park, N.C., reported positive data from a Phase I/II trial of pyridoxalated hemoglobin polyoxyethylene (PHP) for treatment of low blood pressure associated with septic shock. In the study, the company said, PHP indicated it could restore blood pressure in 18 sepsis patients who did not respond to "standard intravenous fluid therapy."
* Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Diego, said it received $6 million from Johnson & Johnson, of New Brunswick, N.J., to broaden their existing collaboration on development of pramlintide, which is in Phase III trials for controlling glucose levels in diabetic patients who use insulin. Pramlintide is an analogue of the naturally occurring hormone amylin. The expanded deal gives Johnson & Johnson rights to all amylin agonists developed by Amylin Pharmaceuticals for treatment of fuel metabolism disorders, such as diabetes.
Cel-Sci Corp., of Alexandria, Va., said it received approval from Israeli health officials to begin clinical trials of Multikine for head and neck cancer. The drug is a natural mixture of cytokines aimed at stimulating the immune system to fight the disease.
Corixa Corp., of Seattle, signed a research agreement giving Pasteur Merieux Connaught options to Corixa's protein adjuvant, leishmanial eukaryotic initiation factor, which is targeted for use with vaccines in boosting immune system responses. Pasteur Merieux Connaught is a combination of Pasteur Merieux Serums & Vaccins SA, of Lyon, France, and its subsidiaries, including Connaught Laboratories Ltd., of North York, Ontario. Pasteur Merieux is a subsidiary of Rhone-Poulenc SA, of Paris.
Interneuron Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Lexington, Mass., said it will make occasional repurchases of 1.5 million shares of its stock. The company has 41.2 million shares outstanding.
MedImmune Inc., of Gaithersburg, Md., said results from a Phase I/II study of its monoclonal antibody, MEDI-493, for treatment of respiratory syncytial virus in infants, showed the drug was safe and well-tolerated. The company said it has completed three additional Phase I/II trials and will report data from them over the next few months. Results from a Phase III trial are expected in the third quarter of 1997.
Protein Design Labs Inc., of Mountain View, Calif., said Idec Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Diego, paid $1 million for a non-exclusive license to Protein Design's antibody humanization patents. Idec, which is developing a monoclonal antibody targeting autoimmune diseases, also will pay royalties to Protein Design on the marketed product.
Sugen Inc., of Redwood City, Calif., began a Phase I trial of SU5271 for psoriasis. The study is being conducted at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York and will enroll about 24 patients. The drug is a synthetic small molecule signal transduction inhibitor designed to block proliferation of keratinocytes, which are epidermal cells that make the scleroprotein keratin.
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.