* BioSpecifics Technologies Corp., of Lynbrook, N.Y., said a Phase I study of a purified enzyme, collagenase, showed the drug reduced the size of keloids, which are raised scars that develop as wounds heal, and hypertrophic scars, which result from deep burns. The scarring is caused by a build-up of collagen.
* Cell Genesys Inc., of Foster City, Calif., is expanding Phase II studies of an AIDS gene therapy. The company's current trial involves use of genetically engineered killer T cells to attack HIV infected cells. In additional studies during 1997, Cell Genesys will genetically modify both killer T cells and helper T cells to battle the infection and will conduct a pilot study of the gene therapy in combination with antiviral drugs.
* Guilford Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Baltimore, and its partner, Rhone-Poulenc Rorer Inc., of Collegeville, Pa., launched the sale of their brain cancer drug. The product, developed by Guilford, is a biodegradable wafer containing a chemotherapeutic agent. The wafers are placed at the site of a brain tumor during surgery to help kill the cancer. The FDA approved the drug in September 1996. (See BioWorld Today, Sept. 25, 1996, p. 1.)
* Immunex Corp., of Seattle, said a Phase I study of its soluble interleukin-4 receptor showed the potential allergy treatment was safe and decreased allergic symptoms associated with asthma in 69 percent of 16 mild asthmatic patients participating the trial. Interleukin-4 receptor is a protein that neutralizes interleukin-4, another protein that is believed to be involved in allergic reactions.