* The European Agency for the Evaluation of Medicinal Productsgranted within its Committee for Proprietary Medicinal Products apositive opinion on granting marketing authorization to the HIV drugNorvir (ritonavir), which is made by Abbott Laboratories, of AbbottPark, Ill. Norvir, the first HIV protease inhibitor to receive suchscientific approval, would be indicated for use in combination withnucleoside analogues for adults with advanced or progressive disease.
* Alkermes Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., and Janssen PharmaceuticaNV, of Beerse, Belgium, agreed to continue development of aninjectable sustained release formulation of an undisclosed Janssenproduct using Alkermes' Medisorb drug delivery technology, whichinvolves sustained-release of small molecules encapsulated inmicrospheres.
* Cel-Sci Corp., of Alexandria, Va., said physicians at ThomasJefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia started a prostate cancerstudy with Multikine, which contains interleukin-2 and othercytokines. The study will involve up to 15 patients who failed onhormonal therapy.
* CellPro Inc., of Bothell, Wash., and Northwestern UniversityMedical School began a clinical trial using T cell-depletedautologous bone marrow transplantation to treat malignant multiplesclerosis.
* Collagen Corp., of Palo Alto, Calif., increased its ownershipposition in Cohesion Corp. from 40 to 80 percent. Cohesion, aprivately held company founded in 1993 by Collagen and RodneyPerkins, develops biomaterials in areas such as tissue adhesives,hemostats and biosealants. Collagen will invest about $6.6 millionand agreed to provide up to $5 million in a convertible debt.
* Exelixis Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., acquiredexclusive rights from the Carnegie Institution to the P Elementvector, a tool used in genetic research. The technology enablesresearchers to transfer genes into fruit flies. The company expects thetechnology to help determine gene function.
* Gensia Inc., of San Diego, started a second Phase II trial with anintravenous formulation of GP531, a second-generation adenosineregulating agent. The study will evaluate the effects of plateletactivation in patients undergoing angioplasty.
* Inhale Therapeutic Systems, of Palo Alto, Calif., started a Phase Itrial of an aerosol form of a drug to treat osteoporosis using Inhale'spulmonary delivery system for large molecules. Alza Corp., of PaloAlto, has collaborated on the product. Inhale said the companiesreached an agreement in which a new partner will be sought after thePhase I trial.
* Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Carlsbad, Calif., and collaboratorsdemonstrated inhibition of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 with anantisense oligonucleotide in a mouse model of pneumonia. Thecompound prevented migration of neutrophils into the lung andreduced lung inflammation. Results were published in the May 1996Journal of Clinical Investigation.
* Scios Inc., of Mountain View, Calif., and Genentech Inc., of SouthSan Francisco, said they reaffirmed their 1994 agreement to developand commercialize Auriculin anaritide for the treatment of acuterenal failure. An adjusted timeline for milestone payments reflects theneed for an additional Phase III trial, but doesn't change the totaldollar amount. Scios will receive a payment of $15 million if a newdrug application is filed by June 30, 1998. Another $15 millionmilestone can be attained after the product is on the market.
* The Immune Response Corp., of Carlsbad, Calif., started a trial ofRemune, an HIV therapy, in children. The trial in 32 HIV-infectedchildren is being run in collaboration with the National Institutes ofHealth, of Bethesda, Md.
(c) 1997 American Health Consultants. All rights reserved.