NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENT RIGHTS GRANTEDInterneuron Pharmaceuticals Inc. has signed an agreement with Elan Corp.plc granting Elan the right to obtain an exclusive worldwide license tomanufacture and market Interneuron's nutritional supplement for patientswith Parkinson's disease.
Elan, of Athlone, Ireland, paid Interneuron a $400,000 option fee andhas agreed to carry out additional product development and market researchduring a one-year option period. If Elan exercises its option, it willpay Interneuron a royalty on sales and will purchase Interneuronconvertible preferred stock for an undisclosed amount.
Patients taking the drug L-dopa for Parkinson's need to control theirprotein intake and the ratio of protein to carbohydrates, said CharlesCasamento, president and chief executive officer of Lexington, Mass.-basedInterneuron. This supplement would allow patients to receive adequateprotein to meet their dietary needs without inhibiting the efficacy of L-dopa.
The supplement will be developed by Elan's O'Brien division, whichspecializes in nutritional products. -- KB
CORTEX LICENSES RIGHTS TO SPECTRIN PRODUCTS
IRVINE, Calif. -- Cortex Pharmaceuticals Inc. said Wednesday it has signedan exclusive licensing agreement with the University of California thatgives Cortex worldwide marketing rights to diagnostic products, basedon a brain protein called spectrin, for degenerative brain diseases.
The spectrin technology was originated at UC by Dr. Gary S. Lynch, aCortex founder. Cortex (NASDAQ:CORX) will pay UC "a modest up-frontlicense fee" and royalties on the sale of products, said Scott Hagen,Cortex's vice president of finance.
Spectrin breaks down in brain tissue that is degenerating. Cortex isdeveloping a method to measure spectrin breakdown products in cerebrospinalfluid to help physicians distinguish between patients with physical braindamage and those suffering from depression, metabolic disturbances orother problems. UC and Cortex have jointly filed for patents.
Cortex hopes to begin clinical testing within 12 to 18 months. The companyis in discussions with diagnostics companies concerning development ofthe product.
LIFECELL GETS SBIR
LifeCell Corp. said it has been granted a $50,000 Phase 1 Small BusinessInnovation Research (SBIR) grant to develop improved methods of preservingnatural replacement veins, or grafts, used in heart bypass operations.
The privately held company, based in The Woodlands, Texas, willinvestigate use of its technology to cryopreserve and dry human saphenousveins taken from a patient's legs for subsequent rehydration and use incoronary surgery. The company said the saphenous vein market is about$200 million annually.
The grant is funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.
INTERFERON SIGNS SUPPLY DEAL FOR LEUKOCYTES
North American Biologicals Inc. (NASDAQ:NBIO) of Miami said it has agreedto supply Interferon Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ:IFSC) of New Brunswick, N.J.,with leukocytes and other plasma-derived products for use in themanufacture of human-based alpha interferon. Revenues from the dealwill be about $3 million annually, North American Biologicals said.
APPOINTMENTS AND ADVANCEMENTS
TELOR ELECTS BOARD MEMBER; MGI HIRES SALES VP
Telor Ophthalmic Pharmaceuticals Inc. of Woburn, Mass., said that JohnChappell, retired former chairman of SmithKline Beecham plc, has beenelected to its board of directors. Telor is developing products to treatage-related, chronic eye diseases. ... Dorene Kronke has joined MGIPharma Inc. of Minneapolis as vice president of sales and marketing.She had been senior region director for Merck Sharp and Dohme. MGIlicenses and develops therapeutics for cancer and other diseases.
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