y The Mexican Ministry of Health on Friday approved the marketing ofBio-Technology General Corp.'s Bio-Tropin, a treatment for growthhormone-deficient children. The product will be launched in Mexicoduring the second quarter this year by Laboratories Cryopharma, whichsigned an agreement with Bio-Technology to market the product.y Metra Biosystems Inc., of Palo Alto, Calif., has completed its thirdround of equity financing, raising an additional $5.1 million. The initialclosing of this transaction for $7 million was announced in January.Metra's proprietary technology is based on pyridinium crosslinks _collagen markers specific to bone that are released into the blood andurine as a result of the bone resorption process. Metra's tests detect andmonitor bone loss in diseases such as osteoporosis.y The National Institutes of Health has initiated Phase I human clinicaltesting of recombinant BetaKine for the treatment of multiple sclerosis.The Celtrix Pharmaceuticals, Inc.-sponsored study is being conductedby the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke inBethesda, Md. Previous studies found that BetaKine reduces theseverity, incidence and duration of the disease symptoms inexperimental allergic encephalomyelitis.y Epigen Inc., of Wellesley, Mass., started clinical trials for its in vitroblood test to monitor the progress of breast cancer patients at theMilton S. Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, Pa. The test is intendedto help physicians monitor and determine appropriate courses oftreatment.y The North Carolina Biotechnology Center, of Research Triangle Park,N.C., will spin off its Institute for Biotechnology Information as a for-profit company, effective July 1. The institute compiles anddisseminates data on the biotech industry. Among other things, itproduces the State-by-State Biotechnology Directory and theBiotechnology Research Directory: 4,000 Faculty Profiles.y Two University of California, San Franciso, neuroscientists wereappointed as Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigators. MarcTessier-Lavigne, assistant professor of anatomy, was the first todescribe a form of chemical attraction that directs the establishment ofnerve cell connections during embryonic development in the brain.Ron Vale, assistant professor of pharmacology and biochemistry, wasthe first to identify and describe molecular motor, a protein thattransports signaling molecules and other substances from the cellnucleus to further reaches of the cell. The institute spent $268 millionon biomedical research last year.y Sheffield Medical Technologies Inc. raised $3 million in its commonstock warrant redemption. The company said that 99.9 percent of theredeemable stock purchase warrants issued in connection with itspublic offering in February 1993 were exercised at a price of $3.75each. Total shares outstanding are 6,493,995. Sheffield is currentlydeveloping HIV/AIDS therapeutics, an ovarian cancer diagnostic and adiagnostic and therapeutic for prostrate cancer and benign prostatehyperplasia.y Biofor, Inc., of Waverly, Pa., signed an agreement to collaborate withThe Karolinska Institute in Stockholm to identify and test compoundsfor the treatment of atherosclerosis. Under the two-year agreement,Biofor will retain rights to any compounds developed. Biofor expectsthat it's treatment for arthritis, BF-389, will complete Phase I and beginPhase II trials in 1995.y The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the University ofWashington have received a $1.8 million contract from the NationalInstitute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to be the Statistical andClinical Coordinating Center for the institute's HIV Vaccine EfficacyTrials Network.
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