* Ergo Science Corp., of Boston, said data from a Phase III study ofits Type II diabetes drug, Ergoset, showed the compound, an oralform of bromocriptine, achieved statistical significance as amonotherapy for controlling blood glucose levels. Two previousPhase III studies revealed Ergoset was an effective treatment forType II diabetes in combination with sulfonylurea agents. Thecompany expects to file a new drug application with the FDA in mid-1997. Bromocriptine is a generic dopamine agonist approved by theFDA for treatment of Parkinson's disease.
* Gilead Sciences Inc., of Foster City, Calif., and its partner,Pharmacia & Upjohn Inc., of Kalamazoo, Mich., said Vistide(cidofovir injection) has been recommended for marketing approvalfor AIDS-related cytomegalovirus retinitis by the European Union'sCommittee for Proprietary Medicinal Products. The drug wasapproved in the U.S. in June 1996.
* Hoechst Marion Roussel, of Frankfurt, Germany, said it does notplan to develop a gene activated version of erythropoietin (EPO), atherapeutic protein for boosting red blood cells, with technologylicensed from Cell Genesys Inc., of Foster City, Calif. Thepharmaceutical firm, a subsidiary of Frankfurt-based Hoechst AG,told BioWorld Today it agreed to pay Cell Genesys up to $26 millionto strengthen Hoechst's patent position for use of gene-activatedtechnology to make EPO. Hoechst expects to begin clinical trials nextyear of a gene-activated EPO generated with technology licensedfrom Transkaryotic Therapies Inc., of Cambridge, Mass. (SeeBioWorld Today, Dec. 20, 1996, p. 1.)
* Incyte Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Palo Alto, Calif., said Eli Lilly andCo., of Indianapolis, signed on as a subscriber to Incyte's mainhuman gene sequence and expression data base, called LifeSeq, andits data bases for full length human gene clones (LifeSeq FL) andmicrobial gene sequences (PathoSeq). Incyte will receive an annualaccess fee and could receive milestone payments and royalties onproducts derived from information in the data bases. Financial detailswere not disclosed.
* Medarex Inc., of Annandale, N.J., and Houston Biotechnology Inc.,of The Woodlands, Texas, signed a definitive agreement to merge.Medarex is acquiring all outstanding shares of HoustonBiotechnology in a stock swap valued at about $8.6 million. (SeeBioWorld Today, Dec. 10, 1996, p. 1.)
* MedImmune Inc., of Gaithersburg, Md., and BioTransplant Inc., ofCharlestown, Mass., began a Phase II trial of BTI-322 for treatmentof acute graft-vs.-host disease, which causes rejection of bonemarrow transplants. BTI-322 is a rat monoclonal antibody designedto bind to human immune systems cells and treat GvHD.
* Northwest Neurologic Inc., of Portland, Ore., entered a researchcollaboration with American Home Products Corp., of Madison, N.J.,for neurological drug discovery based on Northwest's glutamatetransporter technology. Glutamate transporters are involved inmaintaining a balanced level of neurotransmitters in the brain.Financial terms were not disclosed.
* Oxis International Inc., of Portland, Ore., raised $1.1 million in aprivate round of financing. The company develops drugs for diseasesassociated with tissue damage from free radicals and reactive oxygenspecies, such as inflammatory bowel disease.
* Sibia Neurosciences Inc., of La Jolla, Calif., filed an investigationalnew drug application with the FDA to begin clinical trials of SIB-1508Y for Parkinson's disease. The drug targets subtypes of thenicotinic acetylcholide receptor in the brain regulating levels ofdopamine and acetylcholine, both of which are associated withParkinson's disease.
* T Cell Sciences Inc., of Needham, Mass., could receive up to $4million in its amended agreement with Astra AB, of Sodertalje,Sweden, for development of two drugs for multiple sclerosis. Theproducts, TM-27 and TP-12, were derived from T Cell Sciences' TCell Antigen Receptor Program, which is used to make monoclonalantibodies and peptide fragments targeting antigen receptors fordisease-causing T cells.
(c) 1997 American Health Consultants. All rights reserved.