* Aviron Inc., of Mountain View, Calif., entered an alliance withNeuroVir Inc., of Vancouver, B.C., for development of Aviron'sherpesvirus technology in gene therapies to treat cancer and centralnervous system diseases. Aviron received NeuroVir stock and rightof first negotiation to NeuroVir's preventive vaccine technology.
* Genta Inc., of San Diego, raised $2 million in a private placementof convertible debentures to international investors. The one-yearnotes have a 4 percent interest rate and are convertible to Gentacommon stock at a discount to the market price of the shares.
* Hoffmann-La Roche Inc., of Nutley, N.J., said its researcherssuccessfully used an inhibitor of tumor necrosis factor (TNF), aninflammatory mediating protein, to treat asthma in rat and guinea pigmodels of the disease. The company said the compound used was ahuman TNF-receptor fusion protein to block the asthmatic reaction.Hoffmann-La Roche is a subsidiary of Roche Holding Ltd., of Basel,Switzerland.
* Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Carlsbad, Calif., said its antisensedrug, ISIS 5132, inhibited growth of human cancer tumors in animalmodels. The drug, under development in Isis' collaboration withBasel, Switzerland-based Ciba-Geigy Ltd., inhibits C-raf kinase geneexpression, which is believed to be involved in development andmaintenance of tumors.
* NABI, of Boca Raton, Fla., said analysis of interim data from anongoing Phase II trial of StaphVax showed the vaccine was welltolerated and simulated antibodies to the Staphylococcus aureusinfection in end stage renal disease patients.
* Oncogene Sciences Inc., of Uniondale, N.Y., said its partner, Ciba-Geigy Ltd., of Basel, Switzerland, began Phase II trials in Europe,Japan and the U.S. of transforming growth factor-beta 3. They arefollow-on studies to recently completed Phase I/IIa wound-healingstudies. TGF-beta 3 is from a family of naturally occurring proteinsthat promote and accelerate wound healing.
* Oncor Inc., of Gaithersburg, Md., concluded the first closing of aprivate placement of $2.5 million of 6 percent three-year unsecurednotes convertible into stock and warrants for 250,000 commonshares. A second closing of $2.5 million is expected following theregistration's effectiveness.
* The Immune Response Corp., of Carlsbad, Calif., said the firstinterim analysis in its Phase II Thailand trial of Remune, an HIVvaccine, showed the drug was tolerated by all 30 patients andproduced an overall stabilization in the immunological markersmeasured, including CD4 counts and percentage. The remainder ofthe study is double blind and placebo controlled and will involveabout 300 more patients.
* Virus Research Institute Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., and PasteurMerieux Connaught, of Lyon, France, began a Phase I trial of aninfluenza vaccine formulated with Adjumer, a delivery system forinjected vaccines. The trial triggered a $2 million milestone paymentto VRI.
* Sandoz Pharmaceuticals Corp., of East Hanover, N.J., began aclinical trial using gene therapy for treatment of glioblastomamultiforme, a type of malignant brain tumor. The treatment involvesdelivering a thymidine kinase gene from herpes simplex virus to thetumors to make them susceptible to the drug, ganciclovir. The genetherapy, GL-328, was developed by Genetic Therapy Inc., ofGaithersburg, Md., which was acquired by Sandoz Ltd., of Basel,Switzerland, the parent company of Sandoz Pharmaceuticals Corp.
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