Sugen Inc., of Redwood City, Calif., received orphan drug statusfrom the FDA for the company's lead anticancer drug candidate,SU101, for treatment of malignant glioma, which is a brain tumor.SU101, a small synthetic molecule signal transduction inhibitor, isdesigned to block signalling of platelet-derived growth factor. Thedrug currently is in Phase I trials.

BioSepra Inc., of Marlborough, Mass., said it is consolidating itsoperations and reducing its work force. The company did not providedetails, but said it would take a charge to second quarter earnings of$4 million to $5 million to cover the costs of the restructuring.BioSepra, a subsidiary of Marlborough, Mass.-based Sepracor Inc.,entered an alliance with Beckman Instruments Inc., of Fullerton,Calif., earlier this year that will pay BioSepra up to $5 million.

Organogenesis Inc., of Canton, Mass., was told by the FDA that thecompany's premarket approval application for Graftskin will receivean expedited review. Graftskin, which promotes new tissue growth, istargeted for the treatment of chronic venus insufficiency ulcers.

Calgene Inc., of Davis, Calif., said its scientists have cloned andsequenced a plant gene responsible for the structure of vegetable oilsand linked to levels of laurate and myristate. Laurate and myristateare used in soap, detergent and personal care products.

Cortech Inc., of Denver, adopted a shareholder rights plan to preventunwanted takeovers. The company said the move was not a responseto any specific acquisition proposal.

Advanced Tissue Sciences Inc., of La Jolla, Calif., was told by theFDA the company's premarket approval application for Dermagraft-transitional covering will receive an expedited review. Dermagraft isan engineered human dermal tissue combined with a syntheticepidermal layer for treatment of burn patients.

ImmunoGen Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., received a $750,000 Phase IISmall Business Innovation Research grant from the National CancerInstitute of the National Institutes of Health. The funds will be usedfor research of compounds combining humanized monoclonalantibodies, which target cancer tumor cells, with a small moleculedrug designed to cause cell death.

Cellex Biosciences Inc., of Minneapolis, received an $80,000 Phase ISmall Business Innovation Research grant from the National Instituteof Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the NationalInstitutes of Health. The funds will be used to support research ofCellex's Oxycell cell culture technology for growth of normal humanbone marrow.

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