* Abbott Laboratories, of Abbott Park, Ill., said the EuropeanCommission granted final marketing authorization for the HIVprotease inhibitor, Norvir (ritonavir), for treating HIV and AIDS. InMay the Committee for Proprietary Medicinal Products delivered apositive opinion on granting European authorization for Norvir incombination with antiretroviral nucleoside analogues.
* Complete data from two trials of Malvern, Pa.-based CentocorInc.'s ReoPro were presented at a cardiology meeting in the U.K. TheEPILOG trial showed one month after treatment with the monoclonalantibody overall death, recurrent heart attacks and urgent repeatangioplasty or bypass surgery were reduced by 59 percent in thosetreated with an injection and 12 hours of infusion of ReoPro. In theEPIC study there was a 60 percent reduction in mortality for ReoPropatients who had suffered from acute heart attacks or unstable anginaat the time of angioplasty. Centocor has said it intends to fileapplications seeking a broader label for ReoPro later this year toincorporate those data.
* Cypress Bioscience Inc., of San Diego, and PRP Inc., ofWatertown, Mass., signed a letter of intent to merge into a companyin which PRP will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Cypress.Cypress (formerly IMRE) focuses on immune disorders. It has anapproved product, the Prosorba column. PRP's lead product is IPM,or infusible platelet membranes, which are designed as substitutes forhuman platelets. Phase II trials of IPM are under way to evaluatetheir ability to control hemorrhage in thrombocytopenic patients withsignificant bleeding. The merger is expected to be completed this fall.
* MicroCarb Inc., of Gaithersburg, Md., realized gross proceeds ofmore than $5 million from the exercise of Class B warrants. Thoseexercising the warrants bought about 10 million common shares.
* Neurobiological Technologies Inc., of Richmond, Calif., beganclinical trials of Memantine, an orally available NMDA receptorantagonist being developed to treat neuronal damage anddegeneration. The study is being conducted in AIDS patients andhealthy volunteers.
* Pharmacyclics Inc., of Sunnyvale, Calif., and collaborators at theUniversity of Texas at Austin said they developed a method formaking novel ribozyme analogues. The scientists using texaphyrin-oligonucleotide conjugates, produced molecules that have thecapacity to catalytically cleave RNA at specific sites mimickingribozymes.
* Ribozyme Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Boulder, Colo., and PharmaciaBiotech AB, of Uppsala, Sweden, renewed their collaboration on theproduction scale synthesis of RNA and chimeric oligonucleotides.Terms were not disclosed.
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