* Gilead Sciences Inc., of Foster City, Calif., and partner, Roche Holding Ltd., of Basel, Switzerland, began clinical trials of GS 4104, an oral treatment for viral influenza. GS 4104 is designed to inhibit neuraminidase, an enzyme necessary for the the spread of the virus.
* InSite Vision Inc., of Alameda, Calif., said a Phase I trial of its DuraSite formulation of lexipafant, an anti-inflammatory drug under development by Oxford, U.K.-based British Biotech plc, demonstrated the product, ISV-611, was safe and well-tolerated. InSite and British Biotech are collaborating on application of ISV-611 for allergic conjunctivitis. A Phase II trial is expected to begin this year. Lexipafant is a platelet activating factor antagonist. DuraSite is a delivery system for gradual release of the drug into the eye.
* Kimeragen Inc., of Newtown, Pa., entered an agreement with Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc., of Des Moines, for agricultural applications of the former's gene enhancement technology. Kimeragen uses chimeric oligonucleotide molecules to boost gene expression. Pioneer plans to apply the technology to seed corn products. Financial terms were not disclosed.
* Nanogen Inc., of San Diego, received a $2 million Advanced Technology Program grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce. The company said the funds will be used to develop a portable genetic analysis device for forensic investigations, trauma victim identification, medical diagnostics and environmental monitoring.
* Pharmacopeia Inc., of Princeton, N.J., said it received an undisclosed cash milestone payment from partner Schering-Plough Corp., of Madison, N.J., for development of a lead chemical compound for cancer. The milestone is part of a 1994 collaboration that could be worth up to $75 million to Pharmacopeia. (See BioWorld Today, Dec. 23, 1994, p. 1.)
* Xoma Corp., of Berkeley, Calif., said data from two Phase II studies of Neuprex show the recombinant bactericidal and permeability-increasing protein (BPI21) was safe and potentially effective in treating infections associated with liver surgery and meningococcemia in children. Neuprex already has progressed to Phase III studies for meningococcemia.