* NeXstar Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Boulder, Colo., said it gainedfinal marketing approval in Italy for AmBisome, its liposomalformulation of amphotericin B, for the treatment of systemic fungalinfections that fail to respond to conventional amphotericin B.
* Ariad Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., said 1.6 millionshares previously held by David Blech, head of the former New Yorkinvestment boutique, D. Blech & Associates, were sold toinstitutional investors. The company said the sales substantiallyeliminate Blech's holdings in Ariad. Blech was forced to shut downhis investment firm last fall following a liquidity crisis.
* Arris Pharmaceutical Corp., of South San Francisco, received anexclusive license from the University of California at San Franciscoto technology for developing protease inhibitors. Financial termswere not disclosed. Arris, which co-developed what it calls DeltaTechnology, said it intends to focus on the serine protease family.
* Chiron Corp., of Emeryville, Calif., and its partner, Ben VenueLaboratories, of Bedford, Ohio, bought rights to thechemotherapeutic, Cerubidine (daunorubicin hydrochloride), fromWyeth-Ayerst Laboratories, of King of Prussia. The drug is used totreat leukemia. Wyeth-Ayerst is a subsidiary of American HomeProducts, of Madison, N.J.
* Cistron Biotechnology Inc., of Pine Brook, N.J., signed a $2million with Research and Diagnostic Systems Inc. (R&D Systems), asubsidiary of Minneapolis-based Techne Corp. Cistron will get halfthe funds for granting R&D Systems a sublicense to sell interleukin-1beta and the remaining money will be used for development of newcytokine products.
* Eli Lilly and Co., of Indianapolis, said a semisyntheticglycopeptide, called LY333328, showed potential in treatingantibiotic resistance in gram-positive bacteria in preclinical studies.
* Focal Inc., of Lexington, Mass., entered into a collaboration withHoffmann-La Roche Inc., of Nutley, N.J., to develop the former'sFocalGel polymer delivery system for a Roche compound to treatrestenosis, which can occur following angioplasty. Hoffmann-LaRoche is a subsidiary of Switzerland-based Roche Holdings Ltd.
* Gensia Inc., of San Diego, received product licenses in Germanyand Luxembourg to market the GenESA System for diagnosis ofcoronary artery disease in conjunction with electrocardiography,echocardiography and radionuclide imaging for patients who cannotexercise.
* Interferon Sciences Inc., of New Brunswick, N.J., said Mexicoapproved the company's Interferon Alfa-n3 for treatment ofrefractory or recurrent external genital warts in adults.
* Matritech Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., received a $100,000 SmallBusiness Innovation Research grant from the National CancerInstitute to develop nuclear matrix proteins to detect colon cancer.
* Rgene Therapeutics Inc. said preclinical studies of RGA-0853, agene therapy targeting the HER-2/neu oncogene, increased the long-term survival rate of mice with human ovarian cancer tumors. RGA-0853 consists of a HER/2neu repressor gene, E1A, combined with acationic lipid vector, DC-cholesterol. The gene therapy is beingdeveloped for breast, lung and ovarian cancers.
* Serano Laboratories, of Norwell, Mass., plans to begin Phase IIclinical trials of Serostim, a recombinant human growth hormone, totreat HIV-infected children afflicted with a disorder called failure tothrive, which is similar to AIDS wasting in adults. SeranoLaboratories is a subsidiary of Switzerland-based Ares-Services SA.
* L.A.B. International, a subsidiary of Germany-based L.A.B.GmBH, opened a clinical research services facility in Montreal.
* T Cell Sciences Inc. regained distribution rights for its TRAxproducts from INCSTAR Corp., of Stillwater, Minn. T Cell's TRAxCD4 is under review by the FDA to enumerate CD4 positive T cellsfor management of HIV-infected patients.
* The drug will be marketed under the brand name, Altemol, byIndustria Framaceutica Andromaco, a pharmaceutical companyheadquartered in Mexico City.
* Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., said RavizzaFramaceutici S.p.A., an Italian subsidiary of Germany-based BASFAG, began Phase II clinical trials of Vertex's VX-366 in patientswith beta thalassemia. The drug targets the gene responsible forhemoglobin F, whose production usually ends after infancy. Vertex'sstudies have shown the presence of hemoglobin F can improvesymptoms associated with the disease.
(c) 1997 American Health Consultants. All rights reserved.