* Alanex Corp., of San Diego, entered a collaboration with NovoNordisk A/S, of Bagsvaerd, Denmark, using the former'scombinatorial chemistry and the latter's molecular targets to developdrugs for diabetes. Financial terms were not disclosed.
* Arris Pharmaceutical Corp., of South San Francisco, added $5.85million to its March 1996 public offering after the underwritersCowen & Co., Hambrecht & Quist LLC and Robertson, Stephens &Co. LLC, all of New York, exercised overallotment options topurchase 450,000 shares. Arris' offering raised total gross proceedsof $44.85 million through the sale of 3.45 million shares at $13 pershare. The company has about 13.6 million shares outstanding.
* BioChem Pharma Inc., of Laval, Quebec, said the EuropeanUnion's Committee for Proprietary Medicinal Productsrecommended approval of Epivir, or 3TC, for AIDS. The drug stillmust be reviewed by the European Commission. Epivir is marketedby BioChem Pharma's partner, London-based Glaxo Wellcome plc.The drug already is approved in the U.S., Canada, Australia andSwitzerland.
* Corvas International Inc., of San Diego, entered a collaborationwith Immunex Corp., of Seattle, to manufacture clinical supplies ofCorvas' NAPc2, a nematode anticoagulant protein, underdevelopment for acute thrombotic diseases. The drug is an inhibitorof Factor VIIa/Tissue Factor, which initiates blood clotting. Phase Itrials are expected to begin in early 1997 for treatment of venousthrombosis. Financial terms were not disclosed. Corvas also saidresults of a Phase Ia trial of its oral thrombin inhibitor, CVS-1123,showed the drug was well tolerated and well absorbed in healthyvolunteers. CVS-1123 is being developed in collaboration withSchering-Plough Corp., of Madison, N.J.
* CuraGen Corp., of Branford, Conn., entered a collaboration withthe Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, of Cambridge,Mass., for use of the company's DNA analysis machines andsoftware for sequencing the three billion DNA bases that make up thehuman genome. The Whitehead Institute is one of six institutionsparticipating in a pilot program to get the large-scale sequencingeffort under way as part of the last phase of the worldwide HumanGenome Project. CuraGen said its Niagara system can sequence 20million bases per day as well as analyze the DNA material to identifygenes.
* Cypros Pharmaceutical Corp., of Carlsbad, Calif., began a double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase II trial of CPC-111 for chest painassociated with angioplasty. The agent already is in Phase II studiesin three other ischemic diseases: congestive heart failure, heartprotection during cardiac surgery and sickle cell crisis.
* Hoffmann-La Roche Inc., of Nutley, N.J., said the U.S. Patent andTrademark Office reversed a 1994 rejection of the company's claimsfor homogeneous human alpha interferon and confirmed the patent(No. 4,503,035). The company, the U.S. subsidiary of Roche HoldingLtd., of Basel, Switzerland, said the PTO's ruling ends challenges tothe alpha interferon patent claims. (See BioWorld Today, May 16,1994, p. 1.)
* Interferon Sciences Inc., of New Brunswick, N.J., signed anagreement to supply Cell Pharm GmbH, of Hanover, Germany, withthe natural alpha interferon product, Alferon N Injection, fordistribution in that country following regulatory approval. Alferon isapproved in the U.S. for genital warts and is in clinical developmentfor other indications, such as HIV and hepatitis.
* Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Diego, settled its lawsuit withPfizer Inc., of New York, over the former's claims to milestonepayments and royalties associated with development of droloxifenefor breast cancer and osteoporosis. The controversy stemmed from a1991 agreement between the two using Ligand's intracellularreceptor technology to identify small molecule compounds forosteoporosis. Under the settlement, Ligand will receive a $350,000milestone payment and could get another $900,000 on Sept. 1, 1996,plus royalties on the drug for osteoporosis and other diseases.
* Liposome Co. Inc., of Princeton, N.J., filed a supplemental newdrug application with the FDA to expand the label of Abelcet, thecompany's approved amphotericin B lipid complex, for all types offungal infections in patients who failed to respond to conventionalamphotericin B or could not take the drug because of side effects.Abelcet, which reduces adverse reactions by using a lipid-basedsystem to deliver the anti-fungal medicine, is marketed as a second-line therapy for aspergillosis.
* NeoPharm Inc., of Lake Forest, Ill., said it received orphan drugstatus from the FDA for Idoxuridinc for treatment of cancers of thesoft connective tissues around bones and organs. The drug isdesigned to enhance the effectiveness of radiation therapy. Earlierthis year, NeoPharm, won orphan drug status for Broxuridinc forbrain tumors.
* Neurobiological Technologies Inc., of Richmond, Calif., saidinterim results of an open-label Phase I/II trial of corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) for tumor-related brain swelling showed thedrug was well tolerated and improved symptoms, such as seizuresand double vision, associated with the disorder. CRF is a humanpeptide designed to reduce leakage of fluids from blood vessels atsites of tissue damage. The company said it is seeking a developmentand marketing partners for the drug, which is believed to have broadanti-inflammatory activity.
* Oncogene Science Inc., of Uniondale, N.Y., entered an agreementwith Pfizer Inc., of New York, and New York University to form anew company, Anaderm Research Corp., to develop drugs fortreatment of baldness, wrinkles and pigmentation disorders. Pfizerwill own 82 percent of Anaderm, which will be located at Pfizer'sheadquarters, and Oncogene will own 14 percent. New YorkUniversity, which will contribute its biological discoveries on skinand hair problems, will have an option to acquire the other 4 percentof Anaderm and will receive research funding. Financial terms werenot disclosed.
* SciClone Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Mateo, Calif., acquired anexclusive license to a synthetic compound for cystic fibrosis. Thepotential drug, called CPX (8-cyclopentyl-1, 3-dipropylxanthine),was developed by researchers at the National Institutes of Health, ofBethesda, Md., and is designed to assist in the proper function of thepatients' defective cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductingregulator gene. SciClone also named its president, Donald Sellers, tothe additional post of CEO.
* Sheffield Medical Technologies Inc., of New York, said animaltesting in the U.S. is under way for a new AIDS vaccine based onFrench researchers' isolation of a binding site for a non-mutatingcellular surface protein believed to be involved in replication of HIV.Scientists at the French National Institute of Health and MedicalResearch in Paris found the binding site, or epitope, which will beused to develop a potential vaccine. Sheffield, which funded theresearch program, said it will file an investigational new drugapplication with the FDA to begin clinical trials following the animaltesting.
* Triangle Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Durham, N.C., acquired rights topotential HIV treatment compounds from Emory University, ofAtlanta, and the University of Georgia Research Foundation inAthens. The three antiviral drugs are nucleoside analogues. Onecompound, called FTC, was developed at Emory and was tested in aPhase I dose ranging study. The other two, CS-92 and DAPD, werecreated by Emory and University of Georgia, and have shownpromise in laboratory testing.
(c) 1997 American Health Consultants. All rights reserved.