* Alfacell Corp., of Bloomfield, N.J., began Phase IIItrials of Onconase for advanced pancreatic cancer. The200-patient study at 15 U.S. medical centers will evaluatethe combination of Onconase and tamoxifen against 5-fluorouracil, the standard chemotherapy for the disease.Onconase is the smallest known member of a super-family of pancreatic ribonucleases which are aimed atdegrading ribosomal RNA to promote cancer cell death.The study's endpoints are survival and quality of life.(See BioWorld Today, Jan. 25, 1995, p. 1.)
* BioSpecifics Technologies Corp., of Lynbrook, N.Y.,said its successfully completed clinical trials in Italy of itscollagenase ointment for decubitus ulcers and expects toapply for approval of the product in January 1996.BioSpecifics is developing the ointment in Italy withIstoria Farmaceutici S.p.A.
* Researchers at Boston University said interleukin-16,formerly called lymphocyte chemoattractant factor,stimulates growth of CD4+ T cells, which are infected byHIV.
* CoCensys Inc., of Irvine, Calif., said results of a 97-patient Phase I trial of CCD 1042, being developed forepilepsy, showed the agent was well tolerated after singleand multiple dosing. The drug is in Phase II studies inrefractory pediatric patients.
* Matrix Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Menlo Park, Calif., saidits new drug application for AccuSite injectable gel wasaccepted for filing by the FDA.
* OraVax Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., was awarded aPhase II small business innovation research grant of$523,740 to help fund the continued evaluation of itsvaccine for Helicobacter pylori infection.
* Pharmacopeia Inc., of Princeton, N.J., priced its initialpublic offering of 2.6 million shares at $16 per share. Thecompany uses combinatorial chemistry and high-throughput screening in its discovery efforts.Pharmacopeia initially filed to sell 2.25 million shares at$14 to $16 each. (See BioWorld Today, Oct. 20, 1995, p.1.)
* PRP Inc., of Watertown, Mass., said preliminary resultsfrom Phase II trials of its infusible platelet membranes(IPM) demonstrated the product controlled bleeding inthrombocytopenic patients and no adverse reactions werereported. The 36-patient study is testing a single IPMinfusion against conventional platelet transfusions. Thecompany said advantages of the IPM, which are derivedfrom platelets and freeze-dried in a powder, includeminimal contamination, decreased immunogenicity and ashelf-life of up to three years.
* Rhone-Poulenc Rorer Inc., of Collegeville, Pa., saidstudies of its drug, lenograstim, sold in Europe undername Granocyte for neutropenia, showed it mobilized 25percent more stem cells (CD34+) in healthy stem celltransplant donors than filgrastim, which is ThousandOaks, Calif.-based Amgen Inc.'s Neupogen. Rorer, asubsidiary of Rhone-Poulenc Group in Paris, isconducting the trials to add stem cell transplants to thedrug's label in Europe. Granocyte is marketed under ajoint venture between Rorer and Chugai PharmaceuticalCo. Ltd., of Tokyo. Chugai-RPR is located in Antony,France. Lenograstim and filgrastim are granulocytecolony-stimulating factors.
* Sheffield Medical Technologies Inc., of New York, saidresearchers at Baylor College of Medicine in Houstonsequenced the gene for ps20, which is a protein believedto be involved in urogenital growth inhibitor factor(UGIF), a mediator for proliferation and differentiation ofprostate cancer cells. Sheffield said it has an option on anexclusive license to Baylor's technology concerning ps20and UGIF and has filed a U.S. patent application for useof UGIF for prostate cancer.
* The Liposome Co., of Princeton, N.J., said it signed anagreement with Laboratorios Esteve S.A., of Barcelona,Spain, to market Abelcet, an amphotericin B lipidcomplex, in Spain and Portugal. Abelcet is approved inSpain as a second-line treatment for serious fungalinfections. Financial terms were not disclosed.
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