* Alfacell Corp., of Bloomfield, N.J., released preliminary Phase IIresults showing Onconase (an RNase protein), as a single agent, wastested in 17 patients with Stage 4 breast cancer who had failedprevious chemotherapy. One patient achieved a partial response, onea minor response and four patients achieved stable disease.
* Collagen Corp., of Palo Alto, Calif., citing a low stock price,authorized the repurchase of an additional 500,000 shares of itsstock. The company has repurchased a total of 1.8 million shares, atan average price of slightly over $21 per share, since February 1993,reducing the shares outstanding by about 17 percent.
* CytoTherapeutics Inc., of Providence, R.I., announced formation ofa 50 percent-owned subsidiary in Lausanne, Switzerland, calledModex Therapeutiques SA. Modex will use CytoTherapeutics'encapsulated-cell technology for applications outside the centralnervous system. CytoTherapeutics initially will invest $2 million aswell as providing licenses to its technology. Lombard Odier & Cie, aprivate Swiss bank, committed $3 million, for a 15 percent stake.
* EntreMed Inc., of Rockville, Md., said its newly created subsidiary,Cytokine Sciences Inc., completed the acquisition of InnovativeTherapeutics Inc., of Denver. Innovative conducts early stageresearch on infectious diseases by stimulating specific cellularimmunity. Innovative gained a 15 percent interest in CytokineSciences. EntreMed paid $250,000 and agreed to provide $1.6million in research funding in the first two years.
* Genome Therapeutics Corp., of Waltham, Mass., signed a licensingagreement giving Merck & Co. Inc., of Whitehouse Station, N.J.,rights to use certain yeast gene patents in a specific infectious diseaseindication. The deal calls for a "modest" up-front payment toGenome Therapeutics and royalties on any sales.
* ImmuLogic Pharmaceutical Corp., of Waltham, Mass., initiated adouble-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized study in 500 patientsof its Allervax Ragweed product. Trial results should be available inthe first quarter of 1997, in time for inclusion in a product licenseapplication, the company said.
* Millennium Pharmaceuticals Inc., and Hoffmann-La Roche Inc., ofNutley, N.J., said a gene-based assay is ready to enter screening atRoche to identify obesity drug candidates. It is the first gene-baseddiscovery effort at Millennium to reach the drug candidate screeningstage. Millennium will receive a milestone when drug screeningbegins.
* Myriad Genetics Inc., of Salt Lake City, started a research programwith Intermountain Health Care, of Salt Lake City, to identify genesinvolved in diseases of the central nervous system (CNS). Theprogram will link anonymous patient records from Intermountain'sdata base to Myriad's genealogy data base for CNS disorders. Myriadwill have exclusive rights to all diagnostic and therapeuticapplications.
* Pharmos Corp., of Alachua, Fla., received an award of $1 million tosupport development of a product containing the site-active steroid,Lotemax, and the antibiotic, tobramycin. The award came from theU.S. Binational Industrial Research Foundation, which providesfunding to stimulate collaboration between Israeli and U.S.companies.
* Somatogen Inc., of Boulder, Colo., and development partner, EliLilly and Co., of Indianapolis, began enrollment in Phase II study ofthe intraoperative use of Optro to deliver oxygen and restore bloodvolume to treat blood loss during surgery. Optro is a first-generationrecombinant human hemoglobin.
* Interferon Sciences Inc., of New Brunswick, N.J., started treatingchronic hepatitis C patients in a Phase III trial of Alfa-n3, thecompany's natural-source alpha interferon. The study is randomizedand controlled. The company recently started a Phase III trial of theproduct in HIV patients.
* Targeted Genetics Corp., of Seattle, said underwriters of its recentpublic offering exercised options on 525,000 shares at $4 each,brining the total offering to 4.25 million shares at $4 per share.
* Tularik Inc., of South San Francisco, said researchers from Tularikand Harvard University established an essential role for the Stat4gene in controlling immune responses. The gene encodes a specificprotein form a family of signal transducer and activator oftranscription (STAT) proteins. Findings, published in the July 11,1996, Nature, show Stat4 is essential in mediating the signalingmolecule interleukin-12.
(c) 1997 American Health Consultants. All rights reserved.