* Cel-Sci Corp., of Alexandria, Va., raised $3.5 million in a privateplacement of preferred shares to institutional investors, who canconvert the shares to Cel-Sci common stock prior to May 1998. Thefunding gives Cel-Sci $7 million in cash, enough to financeoperations for 18 months.
* Connective Therapeutics Inc., of Palo Alto, Calif., said a placebo-controlled Phase I trial of ConXn, which is recombinant humanrelaxin H2, showed the drug was well tolerated in 30 sclerodermapatients participating in the study. Data also indicated 50 percent ofthe 20 patients receiving the drug reported improvement in theircondition compared with 20 percent of the 10 who received aplacebo.
* Genzyme Transgenics Corp., of Framingham, Mass., receivedrights to an idiotypic vaccine under development for B celllymphoma in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute (NCI).The company, which has been working with the NCI for three yearson the project, expects to sign a five-year Cooperative Research andDevelopment Agreement this summer with the government agency.Genzyme Transgenics will expand the NCI's clinical trials in 1997when a Phase II study is expected to begin. An idiotypic vaccine usesproteins from a patient's cancerous tumor to generate an immunesystem attack on cancer cells following chemotherapy.
* Hoffmann-La Roche Inc., of Nutley, N.J., said a 978-patient AIDStrial showed two of its FDA-approved drugs _ Invirase (saquinavir),a protease inhibitor, and Hivid (ddC), a nucleoside analogue _worked better together than Hivid alone. After a median follow-uptime of 73 weeks, the company said the combination therapy reduceddeaths by two-thirds and delayed disease progression compared withHivid treatments. All patients in the trial had discontinued use ofAZT, a nucleoside analogue sold by Glaxo Wellcome plc, of London.
* ICOS Corp., of Seattle, raised another $7 million in conjunctionwith its recent public offering of 6 million shares after underwritersexercised options to buy 900,000 shares to cover overallotments. Thecompany raised gross proceeds of $52.7 million through the sale of6.9 million shares at $7.62 per share. Net proceeds totaled $49.1million. Underwriters were Robertson, Stephens & Co., of SanFrancisco; Ragen MacKenzie Inc., of Seattle; and PaineWebber Inc.,Lehman Brothers, Gerard Klauer Mattison & Co., all of New York.(See BioWorld Today, May 9, 1996, p. 1.)
* Pharmos Corp., of Alachua, Fla., signed a letter of intent withTampa, Fla.-based Bausch & Lomb Pharmaceuticals Inc. expandingtheir agreement on marketing Pharmos' Lotemax, a site specificocular steroid under review by the FDA, and related products. Thenew collaboration would give Bausch & Lomb rights to sell the drugin Europe, Canada and other countries including the U.S. Lotemax,loteprednol estabinate, is targeted as an ophthalmic anti-inflammatoryand anti-allergy drug. Financial details were not disclosed.
* Procept Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., began a Phase I/II trial inEurope of PRO 2000 for HIV. The drug is designed to prevent theinfection of T cells by preventing HIV's glycoprotein 120 frombinding to the CD4 protein on the surface of the immune systemcells. PRO 2000 blocks gp 120 by binding to the CD4 protein. APhase I safety trial was successfully completed in the U.K. in May1995.
* Vical Inc., of San Diego, secured an option to collaborate withCorixa Corp., of San Diego, for use of a gene encoding a parasite-derived protein owned by Corixa to help stimulate human immunesystem responses. When produced in vivo the protein, called LeIF, isbelieved to stimulate molecules involved in generating an immuneresponse. Vical paid an option fee. If the alliance proceeds, Vicalalso will make licensing and milestone payments. Financial detailswere not disclosed.
* Xoma Corp., of Berkeley, Calif., received $3 million up front as alicensing fee from Genentech Inc., of South San Francisco, for rightsto Xoma's patent covering therapeutic use of chimericimmunoglobulin G1 antibodies for the CD20 antigen on the surfaceof human B cells. Genentech licensed the patent in conjunction with achimeric anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody, IDEC-C2B8, it isdeveloping in collaboration with IDEC Pharmaceu-ticals Inc., of SanDiego, for non-Hodgkin's B-cell lymphoma.
(c) 1997 American Health Consultants. All rights reserved.