y Richard Young, a scientific principal at StressGen BiotechnologiesCorp. in Victoria, B.C., has been awarded the Chiron Corp.Biotechnology Research Award for his work in infectious diseases andthe development of vaccines.y Receptagen Ltd., of Vancouver, B.C., has acquired VancouverWholesale Drugs (VWD) Ltd. for $3.4 million and will make threeannual payments of $700,000 to shareholders of VWD starting in 1995.Receptagen, which is developing non-immunosuppressive drugs forcancer, is preparing a sales and marketing force for the introduction ofits first products, the company said.
Alexion Broadens Complement Inhibitor TechnologyAlexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. said Tuesday it obtained an exclusivelicense covering the use of antibodies to block certain complementcomponents in treating adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) andsepsis, adding to its aggressive acquisition and development program.The technology, licensed from Stanford University, selectively blocksthe actions of C5a, an activated complement byproduct. The rights arecovered in a patent titled "Method for the Treatment of (ARDS),"which broadens Alexion's complement inhibitor technology platform.Stanford researchers demonstrated in primate models that blocking C5aprevents the onset of ARDS, and in primate models of sepsis showedthe blockade resulted in maintenance of blood pressure and improvedsurvival."It fits very nicely into our critical care program," Leonard Bell,president and CEO of the New Haven, Conn., company, toldBioWorld. Alexion also is developing complement inhibitors to treatacute inflammation associated with chronic autoimmune disorders. Thecomplement inhibitors also fit in with the company's UniGraftTechnology platform, which is focused on creation of universal donororgans.A third area of research is the company's Apogen program. Lastmonth, Alexion licensed National Institutes of Health-patenteddiscoveries that eliminate disease-causing T cells by means ofprogrammed cell death, or apoptosis.Bell said Alexion, in the past 18 months, has made 20 to 30 license andresearch agreements at about 20 centers in the U.S., Europe andAustralia. The company, founded in 1992, now owns or has exclusivelicenses to some 55 patents and patent applications worldwide, he said."It's based upon the view we are not a single-product or technologybiotech company," Bell said. "We've built three very strong pillars,each of which potentially is a stand-alone technology or company." _Jim Shrine
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