* Aurora Biosciences Inc., of La Jolla, Calif., and Packard InstrumentCo., of Meriden, Conn., entered a collaboration to developminiaturized tools for drug screening and synthetic chemistry. Termsof the agreement call for Packard to buy $1 million worth of privatelyheld Aurora's preferred stock and receive a sublicense to sell to non-profit institutions Aurora's fluorescence assay reagents. Aurora willhave exclusive rights to market the new instruments for up to threeyears, after which it and Packard will share rights. Packard will haveexclusive rights to market instruments emerging from thecollaboration for diagnostics, DNA sequencing and biomolecularresearch.
* Millennium Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., sold anadditional 675,000 shares in conjunction with its recent initial publicoffering of 4.5 million shares after underwriters Goldman, Sachs &Co., of New York, and Robertson, Stephens & Co., of San Francisco,exercised overallotment options. The added $8.1 million pushes totalgross proceeds for the IPO to $62.1 million. The company has 23.5million shares outstanding. (See BioWorld Today, May 8, 1996, p.1.)
* Neurex Corp., of Menlo Park, Calif., said an interim analysis of 18hypertensive patients in a clinical trial of Corlopam (fenoldopam)demonstrated the drug's anti-hypertensive effect was maintained overa 48-hour infusion and showed kidney function was not damageddespite the patient's reduced blood pressure. Neurex expects to file anew drug application for Corlopam during the second quarter of 1996for blood pressure control in surgical procedures and for malignanthypertension. The drug was licensed from SmithKline Beecham plc,of London.
OraVax Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., said initial results of a three-month Phase II study of HNK20, a monoclonal antibody fortreatment of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in infants,demonstrated the drug was safe. However findings revealed nosignificant differences between the performance of drug and placeboin incidence of RSV infection. In the placebo-controlled study,involving 57 infants, 20 cases of RSV were reported _ 12 in thedrug group and 8 in the placebo group. Eight of those in the treatmentgroup progressed from upper to lower respiratory tract infectionswhile 7 of 8 in the placebo group worsened. HNK20 is designed toprevent RSV from progressing to viral pneumonia or bronchiolitis.OraVax said the Phase II studies were reviewed by the FDA before itapproved a broader 500-patient Phase III trial, which is ongoing infour countries in the Southern Hemisphere. Results are expected inthe fourth quarter of 1996. (See BioWorld Today, May 6, 1996, p.1.)
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