* Hybridon Inc., of Worcester, Mass., began a Phase I study inLondon of GEM 132, which Hybridon said it believes is the firstadvanced chemistry antisense compound administered to humans.The study will involve 18 healthy volunteers. GEM 132 is beingdeveloped for cytomegalovirus and CMV retinitis.
* Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Carlsbad, Calif., said studies publishedin the August issue of Molecular Pharmacology demonstrated ISIS3251/CGP 64128A inhibited tumor growth in an animal model ofhuman brain cancer. The antisense compound, an inhibitor of PKC-alpha gene expression, is in a Phase I trial in cancer patients with avariety of solid tumors.
* Protein Polymer Technologies Inc., of San Diego, said it extendedthe initial research and development stage of its collaboration withJohnson & Johnson subsidiary Ethicon Inc. until the end of the year.They are developing surgical tissue adhesives and sealants. ProteinPolymer will get an additional $400,000 in the extended agreement.
* BioChem Pharma Inc., of Laval, Quebec, entered a collaborationwith XTL Biopharmaceuticals, of Rehovot, Israel, for drug discoveryaimed a developing treatments for hepatitis C. Financial terms werenot disclosed. The agreement gives BioChem Pharma an exclusivetwo-year license to XTL's Trimera technology for creating models ofthe infection.
* North American Vaccine Inc., of Beltsville, Md., signed anagreement in principal worth up to $42 million with AbbottLaboratories, of Abbott Park, Ill., for marketing of the former'sdiphtheria, tetanus and acellular pertussis vaccine, which is underreview by the FDA. The deal gives Abbott rights to market thevaccine to physicians and managed health care companies in the U.S.North American Vaccine will market the product to governmentpurchasers.
* Theracell Inc., of South San Francisco, licensed technology fromthe University of South Florida in Tampa using human sperm cells toregenerate brain cells for treatment of a variety of diseases. Theracell,a subsidiary of South San Francisco-based Titan PharmaceuticalsInc., said it will target Parkinson's disease. Financial terms were notdisclosed.
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