* Advanced Polymer Systems Inc., of Redwood City, Calif., said the FDA approved its Retin-A Micro (tretinoin gel) for acne. The topical medication will be marketed under an agreement with New Brunswick, N.J.-based Johnson & Johnson's Ortho Dermatological division.
* Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc., of New Haven, Conn., received a $100,000 Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Institutes of Health for preclinical studies of the company's C5 complement inhibitors for myocardial infarction. The drugs are designed to block the inflammation-causing effects of the body's complement cascade, which is part of the immune system.
* Alliance Pharmaceutical Corp. said data from a 90-patient Phase II trial of its Liquivent (perflubron) for acute hypoxemic respiratory failure (AHRF) showed the drug was safe, reduced the number of days on mechanical ventilation support and improved survival in 58 patients who were 55 or younger. However, clinical investigators said, the study did not demonstrate an overall difference between treated and control groups because of a greater number of patients older than 55 receiving Liquivent. A larger Phase II/III study in AHRF is planned. Liquivent is an oxygen carrying liquid designed to reduce exposure of patients to harmful effects of ventilators.
* Interferon Sciences Inc., of New Brunswick, N.J., said its board of directors has approved a four-for-one reverse stock split. If stockholders approve the measure, Interferon's 49 million outstanding shares will be reduced to 12.25 million.
* Quintiles Transnational Corp., of Research Triangle Park, N.C., registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a public offering of 4 million shares. The company is offering 1.16 million shares. The other 2.84 million shares are being sold by stockholders. Of the 4 million shares, about 800,000 will be sold outside the U.S. When the offering was registered the company's shares (NASDAQ:QTRN) were trading at $76.
* Sonus Pharmaceuticals Inc. said a clinical trial of 40 patients with signs of prostate cancer showed its EchoGen Emulsion diagnosed diseased prostates in five patients thought to be normal and improved detection of abnormal areas in another five patients. EchoGen Emulsion is a fluorocarbon-based ultrasound contrast agent designed for use with radiology and cardiology.
* T Cell Sciences Inc., of Needham, Mass., received a $100,000 Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Institutes of Health for development of a DNA vaccine against atherosclerosis. The company's vaccine is designed to produce antibodies to the cholesterol ester transfer protein in an attempt to raise levels of high-density lipoproteins and lower levels of low-density lipoproteins to reduce risk of atherosclerosis.