* Emisphere Technologies Inc., of Hawthorne, N.Y., and Elan Corp.,of Athlone, Ireland, said a Phase I trial of their oral heparin productshowed it was safe and delivered clinically relevant levels of the anti-blood-clotting drug. Emisphere and Elan are using their technologyto develop an oral form of the widely used anti-blood-clotting drug,which is administered by injection.
* Genzyme Transgenics Corp., of Framingham, Mass., will begin thisfall in the U.K. the first clinical trial of a human protein produced inthe milk of a transgenic goat. The drug, antithrombin III, is used toprevent blood clotting. It currently is derived from human donorplasma to treat people with deficiencies of antithrombin III. GenzymeTransgenics is 45 percent owned by Genzyme Corp., of Cambridge,Mass.
* Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Diego, received a secondmilestone payment this year from Pfizer Inc., of New York, for thedevelopment of droloxifene for osteoporosis and breast cancer.Ligand received the $900,000 payment in the form of more than72,000 Ligand shares of stock returned to the company by Pfizer.Ligand also received the first milestone payment of $350,000 in theform of more than 28,000 Ligand shares. Pfizer made the paymentsunder an agreement reached in April 1996 settling Ligand's lawsuitagainst the pharmaceutical firm.
* Scios Inc., of Mountain View, Calif., said its insulinotropin hasbeen licensed to Novo Nordisk A/S, of Bagsvaerd, Denmark, fordevelopment and marketing. The drug, a peptide hormone thatstimulates release of insulin, is in Phase II trials for Type II diabetes.Financial terms were not disclosed. Scios will receive an up-front fee,milestone payments and royalties. Novo Nordisk received an optionto license insulinotropin in June 1996 after Scios ended an eight-yearcollaboration on the drug with Pfizer Inc., of New York. (SeeBioWorld Today, June 3, 1996, p. 1.)
* SciClone Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Mateo, Calif., receivedmarketing clearance in China for Zadaxin, or thymosin alpha 1, totreat chronic hepatitis B. The drug is designed to stimulate theimmune system against hepatitis. Zadaxin also has been approved inSingapore and the Philippines. SciClone has marketing applicationsunder review in Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico andCyprus.
* Sugen Inc., of Redwood City, Calif., entered a collaboration withArQule Inc., of Medford, Mass., using the latter's combinatorialchemistry to develop compounds from lead structures provided bySugen. Financial terms were not disclosed. Sugen said it will retaincommercial rights to compounds for tyrosine kinase and serine-threonine kinase targets. ArQule will have commercial rights tomolecules for other, undisclosed, targets.
* Texas Biotechnology Corp., of Houston, purchased a 10 percentinterest in Structural Bioinformatics Inc., of San Diego, a start-upcompany that identifies protein structures from newly discoveredgenes. Financial terms were not disclosed. Texas Biotechnology willuse the protein structure information to design small-molecule drugs.
* Xoma Corp., of Berkeley, Calif., filed an investigational new drugapplication with the FDA to begin clinical trials of hu1124 to treatmoderate to severe psoriasis, an inflammatory disease creating scalyplaques on skin. The drug, previously called anti-CD11a, is ahumanized monoclonal antibody under development in acollaboration with Genentech Inc., of South San Francisco. Theantibody is designed to block the inappropriate activation of theimmune system against skin cells.
(c) 1997 American Health Consultants. All rights reserved.