* Celgene Corp., of Warren, N.J., said a Phase II/III trial of thalidomide in AIDS patients suffering from wasting showed the drug achieved statistical significance, compared with a placebo, in increasing their weight. The company said the data will be used to support a new drug application (NDA) for AIDS-wasting. Celgene also has submitted an NDA for approval of thalidomide to treat erythema nodosum leprosum, a painful inflammatory disorder affecting leprosy patients.
* Cytogen Corp., of Princeton, N.J., signed a definitive licensing agreement with Elan Corp. plc, of Athlone, Ireland, for use of the former's genetic diversity library technology in developing orally delivered drugs. The agreement followed achievement of a research milestone involving identification of peptides that are absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract. Financial terms were not disclosed.
* Immune Response Corp., of Carlsbad, Calif., said data from a 15-patient, open-label trial of Remune, a therapeutic vaccine against AIDS, showed the drug boosted levels of chemokines, which are signaling molecules that recruit immune system cells to fight an infection. The company said researchers have shown chemokines may be a major factor in suppressing HIV. The trial revealed Remune increased production of both chemokines and the cells they rally to battle HIV. Immune Response is conducting Phase II and Phase III studies of Remune.