* NeoTherapeutics Inc., of Irvine, Calif., reports an investigational new drug application has been cleared by the Canadian Ministry of Health to begin testing the company's lead compound, AIT-082, in humans. AIT-082 is a novel small molecule designed to cross the blood-brain barrier and enhance nerve cell function by increasing levels of neurotrophic factors in damaged or degenerating neural pathways.
* Oxis International Inc., of Portland, Ore., has completed a preclinical study of its lead product, BXT-51072, in an animal model of coronary artery restenosis following angioplasty. In the Oxis study, pigs treated with BXT-51072 showed significantly less coronary artery obstruction following angioplasty than control animals.
* Sequus Pharmaceuticals, of Menlo, Park, Calif., reports Schering-Plough Corp., of Madison, N.J., has initiated sales of Caelyx (doxorubicin HCI [pegylated liposomal]) in the U.K. and Germany.
* Viragen Inc., of Miami, reports its shareholders have approved an increase in the company's authorized shares. Consequently, $20 million in financing previously announced and escrowed was transferred to the company and invested by institutional investors. Viragen's cash position, its chairman, Gerald Smith, said, is more than $40 million at this time.
* Virus Research Institute Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., reports the preliminary results of a Phase I/II study of the company's vaccine for the prevention of rotavirus disease in infants demonstrated the vaccine was generally well tolerated in younger infants and elicited broad immune responses in all infants. The company plans to initiate a Phase II efficacy study later this year.
* QLT PhotoTherapeutics Inc., of Vancouver, British Columbia, said Tokyo Medical College clinical investigators reported results of a study showing Photofrin (porfimer sodium) was effective in treating early stage lung cancer. In patients treated between 1989 and 1992, complete responses were achieved for 90.6 percent of squamous cell carcinomas and five years later 62.5 percent of the cancers had not returned. Photofrin is approved for various cancers in the U.S., Canada and Japan.
* Quintiles Transnational Corp., of Research Triangle Park, N.C., priced its public offering of 1.415 million shares at $62.875 for gross proceeds of $89 million. The offering also included 3.385 million shares sold by stockholders. Managing the sale were Goldman, Sachs & Co., Morgan Stanley & Co. Inc. and Smith Barney Inc., all of New York, and William Blair & Co. LLC, of Chicago.