* Aradigm Corp., of Hayward, Calif., said it entered an agreement with an undisclosed partner to determine the feasibility of using its AERx pulmonary drug delivery system with a marketed protein, which currently is injected. Aradigm also did not identify the protein. Financial terms were not revealed.
* Cypros Pharmaceutical Corp., of Carlsbad, Calif., received a $100,000 Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Institutes of Health for development of glial chloride channel blockers. The potential drugs are targeted to reduce brain damage associated with stroke and head trauma.
* IBAH Inc., of Blue Bell, Pa., acquired Pharmaco Pty Ltd., an Australia-based contract research organization. Financial terms were not disclosed.
* Medarex Inc., of Annandale, N.J., has acquired Houston Biotechnology Inc., of The Woodlands, Texas, for $9.1 million. Medarex has issued 0.182 shares of its common stock in exchange for each share of HBI stock. With the acquisition, Medarex expands its portfolio to include HBI's ophthalmic products, most notably 4197X-RA for prevention of secondary cataracts.
* Neoprobe Corp., of Dublin, Ohio, said it is expanding a Phase I study of its activated cellular therapy for AIDS. The technique involves removing lymph node cells from a patient and then activating and expanding their number before re-infusing them.
* Oncogene Science Inc., of Uniondale, N.Y., said its partner, Novartis AG, of Basel, Switzerland, began Phase II trials of transforming growth factor-beta 3 (TGF-beta 3), for prevention of oral mucositis in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. The studies in the U.S., Europe and South America will enroll about 300 breast cancer and lymphoma patients. TGF-beta 3 is a protein that regulates cell division.
* Onyx Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Richmond, Calif., has expanded Phase I human clinical testing of its lead anticancer agent, Onyx-015, to include patients with pancreatic cancer. This is the second Phase I clinical trial Onyx has initiated with Onyx-015. The first Phase I study, directed at head and neck tumors, began in April 1996.
* Penederm Inc., of Foster City, Calif., raised $9 million in a private placement of 752,000 shares to institutional investors. Volpe, Welty & Co. LLC, of San Francisco, managed the transaction.
* Rhone-Poulenc Rorer Inc., of Collegeville, Pa., said it is cooperating with The Alberta Cancer Board, of Edmonton, to conduct a five-year study of Taxotere in combination with other chemotherapies for treatment of breast cancer. About 1,600 women worldwide are expected to participate in the trials.
* 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.