u Ecogen Inc., of Langhorne, Pa., has signed an agreementgiving Nissan Chemical Industries Ltd. exclusive rights todevelop and market Ecogen's biorational agricultural pestcontrol products in Japan. The agreement is an extension ofa 1993 marketing collaboration between the twocompanies. Ecogen said its bacillus thuringiensis productswill be the first marketed in Japan.u Biomune Systems Inc., of Salt Lake City, and the SaltLake Clinic Research Foundation are collaborating ondevelopment of Biomune's IMMUNO-C, an antibody-based product for treatment of gastrointestinal diseases.The Salt Lake Clinic will conduct Phase I safety studies inpreparation for Phase II clinical trials of IMMUNO-C forcryptosporidiosis, which can be fatal in AIDS patients.u Allergen Inc., of Irvine, Calif., has paid $16 million toacquire Ioptex Research Inc., which manufacturesintraocular lens for use in cataract surgery. According toAllergen, the Irwindale, Calif.-based Ioptex reported $39million in sales in 1993 and $400,000 in profits.u Serono Laboratories Inc., of Norwell, Mass., said PhaseIII clinical trials of its recombinant human growth hormoneindicate it may be able to increase body weight, withoutaccumulating fat, to combat AIDS wasting. Serono, asubsidiary of The Ares-Serono Group, of Geneva,Switzerland, has asked the FDA for a treatmentinvestigational new drug application to expand access tothe clinical studies for people with late-stage AIDSwasting. The preliminary findings were based on testsinvolving 178 patients at 12 sites in the U.S. Serono'sclinical trial data were presented at the 10th InternationalConference On AIDS in Yokohama, Japan.u The National Institutes of Health awarded MicroProbeCorp., of Bothell, Wash., a two-year, $485,000 Phase IISmall Business Innovation Research grant to assist thecompany in its development of DNA probe assays forantibiotic-resistant staphylococci.MicroProbe said the drug-resistant infections are bacterialstrains that can degrade penicillin, including methicillin,which the company described as the treatment used mostoften for staphylococci.u Metasyn Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., said preclinicalstudies have shown that two of its magnetic resonanceimaging contrast agents may improve detection of livercancer and the ability to distinguish between benign andmalignant tumors. The studies involved Metasyn's contrastagents, MS 264 and MS 136, which contain gadolinium.The former is a liver-specific agent and the latter is atumor-enhancing agent. The company said the agents bindto specific receptors in an attempt to enhance the magneticsignal. Metasyn expects to begin clinical trials of MS 264late this year.

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