* Cellex Biosciences Inc., of Minneapolis, received an $80,000 PhaseI Small Business Innovation Research grant from the NationalInstitute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of theNational Institutes of Health. The funds will be used to supportresearch of Cellex's Oxycell cell culture technology for growth ofnormal human bone marrow.

* BioChem Pharma Inc., of Laval, Quebec, said shareholdersapproved a rights plan that had been adopted by the board in April.Also, the company's president and CEO, Francesco Bellini, saidregulatory filings for the HIV drug 3TC are nearly complete and thedrug is expected to be commercially available toward the end of theyear.

* T Cell Sciences Inc., of Needham, Mass., formed Global PharmaLtd., a Bermuda company designed to expand uses and markets forgovernment-approved drugs within China, and to acquire Chinesedrugs for development in other markets.

* Biomira Inc., of Edmonton, Alberta, raised Canadian $26.6 millionin a rights offering. Almiria Capital Corp., of Montreal, will acquireabout 500,000 units for Canadian $18 million, and hold about 16.7percent of Biomira. (See BioWorld Today, April 24, 1995, p. 1.)

* Neurex Corp., of Menlo Park, Calif., received a $100,000 Phase Ismall business innovation research grant to study the molecularmechanisms underlying neuronal apoptosis.

* Medarex Inc., of Annandale, N.J., started a Phase I/II trial ofMDX-210 along with Thousand Oaks, Calif.-based Amgen Inc.'sNeupogen (granulocyte-colony stimulating factor) in refractory breastcancer patients.

* Gensia Inc., of San Diego, entered into a multi-year agreement withOption Care Inc., a home and alternate site health care company. AGensia subsidiary will provide contracted items used in the homehealth care market.

* Genta Inc., of San Diego, raised $1.75 million in a privateplacement of about 1 million shares of common stock. Genta hasraised gross proceeds of $12.75 million this year.

* Shaman Pharmaceuticals Inc., of South San Francisco, obtainedfrom Bayer AG the license for patents relating to the use of acompound called nikkomycin Z for the development of antifungalagents.

* Alteon Inc., of Ramsey, N.J., licensed patents from WashingtonUniversity in St. Louis covering pimagedine, which Alteon isdeveloping as its lead product for treatment of diabetes patients withkidney disease. The Washington University patents relate to use ofpimagedine as an inhibitor of nitric oxide for treatment ofdermatological, neurovascular and autoimmune diseases.

* Human Genome Sciences Inc., of Rockville, Md., opened itsBioactive Protein Expression Center to produce and purify proteinsfor drug and diagnostic development. Funding for the facilityincluded $4 million in bonds issued by the Maryland IndustrialDevelopment Financing Authority.

* Receptagen Ltd., of Edmonds, Wash., paid 250,000 shares of itsstock to acquire 337062 BC Ltd., a two-year-old pharmaceuticalproducts supply firm based in Vancouver, Canada.

* Somatix Therapy Corp., of Alameda, Calif., and Deerfield, Ill.-based Baxter Healthcare Corp.'s immunotherapy and gene therapydivisions in Irvine, Calif., received FDA approval for a gene therapyclinical trial for treatment of chronic granulomatous disease. Thenormally fatal genetic disorder results in a failure of white blood cellsto fend off certain bacteria and fungi. In the clinical trial, Somatix'sretroviral vectors will be used to insert ex vivo a corrective gene intostem cells, which will then be expanded before being reinfused intothe patients.

* Takara Shuzo Co. Ltd., of Shiga, Japan licensed technology fromIndiana University School of Medicine to boost transductionefficiency in retroviral gene therapy. The school's researchers, alongwith scientists from Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., andTakara developed a method of using fibronectin fragments to helpinsert genes into stem cells with retroviruses.

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