NEOPROBE TECHNOLOGY IN PHASE III TRIALSSwedish Hospital Medical Center in Seattle announced Mondaythat it is one of 15 U.S. medical centers that are conductingPhase III, 400-patient clinical trials of Neoprobe Corp.'sRadioimmunoguided Surgery (RIGS) to treat colorectal cancer.Neoprobe estimates the trials will be completed by the end of1991 and that Food and Drug Administration approval maycome as early as 1992.

Patients undergoing RIGS receive a radiolabeled B72.3monoclonal antibody that migrates to tumor sites. Surgeonsdetect the antibody using a Neoprobe detection device. Phase IItrials showed that RIGS identified tumors in 15 percent ofpatients who otherwise would have been missed.


Tanabe Seiyaku Co. Ltd. of Osaka has acquired exclusive rightsto market tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA) developed byMitsubishi Kasei Corp. and Kyowa Hakko Kogyo Co. usingtechnology licensed from Genentech Inc. Tanabe hopes toobtain approval to sell t-PA for heart attacks in the middle ofthis year.

Japan has not yet approved recombinant t-PA for sale, saidGenentech spokeswoman Susan Rogers. After receiving patentprotection in Japan last fall, Genentech sued SumitomoPharmaceutical Co. and Toyobo Co. for infringement. Toyobohas also filed for market approval for t-PA, licensed fromGenzyme Corp., said Cowen & Co. analyst David Stone. -- CarolTalkington Verser


Viragen Inc. of Hialeah, Fla., announced Monday that it isconducting merger negotiations with Cellular Dynamics Inc., aprivate Florida-based biotechnology company. Viragen's(NASDAQ:VRGN) flagship product is alpha interferon derivedfrom human leukocytes. The company has approval to marketthe product in Florida to treat genital warts and hairy cellleukemia. Cellular Dynamics develops and markets diagnosticinstruments and reagents.


Enzo Biochem Inc. of New York announced Monday that it hasobtained very broad patent coverage for nucleic acid probediagnostics that generate a soluble signal. U.S. Patent 4,994,373describes methods to detect nucleic acid sequences that can beeasily automated. Enzo plans to defend this patent actively,said Enzo spokeswoman Dr. Carol Dempster.

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