* Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., of Princeton, N.J., initiated trials to testthe anticancer effects of thalidomide in a series of small studies.

* Cell Genesys Inc., of Foster City, Calif., filed an investigationalnew drug application for a second trial of its AIDS therapy. Theapplication proposes a Phase II study in which a patient's own T cellswill be modified to recognize and destroy HIV-infected cells, thenreturned to the patient.

* Genentech Inc., of South San Francisco, exclusively licensedworldwide rights from Washington University, in St. Louis, forhuman neurturin, a homologue of glial cell line-derived neurotrophicfactor. The factor promotes nerve cell growth and protects certainnerve cells against damage. Also, Genentech said the Osaka (Japan)High Court overturned a lower court decision and ruled in favor ofGenentech in its claim of patent infringement by SumitomoPharmaceuticals Co. Ltd., of Osaka, which was ordered to stop theproduction and sale of tPA.

* IDEC Pharmaceuticals Corp., of San Diego, will get an up-frontlicense fee of $4.5 million from Chugai Pharmaceuticals Co. Ltd., ofTokyo, for granting Chugai a license to vector technology for highexpression of recombinant proteins in mammalian cells. IDEC wouldget royalties on any products manufactured using the technology.

* Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Carlsbad, Calif., initiated Phase I trialsof ISIS5132/CGP69846A, an antisense cancer compound thatselectively inhibits C-raf kinase gene expression. The raf kinasefamily is responsible for signal transduction processes that regulatecell proliferation. The compound is being developed in collaborationwith Ciba-Geigy Ltd., of Basel, Switzerland.

* Progenics Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Tarrytown, N.Y., raised $7million through a private placement of convertible preferred stock.The company plans to launch five trials this year, including twoPhase III studies of GMK, a therapeutic vaccine for melanoma.

* Sequana Therapeutics Inc., of La Jolla, Calif., and AuroraBiosciences Corp., of La Jolla, entered into a three-year agreement inthe area of functional genomics. Sequana will use Aurora'stechnologies to analyze the function of disease genes, and Aurora willdevelop screens for genetic targets. Sequana will make an equityinvestment and provide research support. Sequana gets exclusiveaccess to Aurora's technologies for positionally cloned genes, as wellas preferential access to novel mammalian cell-based screeningservices.

* Sequus Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Menlo Park, Calif., said Amphocilwas approved in Holland as a second-line therapy for systemic fungalinfections. A new drug application was filed in the U.S. late last year.

* The Immune Response Corp., of Carlsbad, Calif., obtained anexclusive license from the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, of SanDiego, for a gene therapy vaccine that eradicated brain tumors inlaboratory animals. Results of that study were published in the April2, 1996, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

(c) 1997 American Health Consultants. All rights reserved.