San Diego Business Journal

An exclusive license agreement announced Oct. 22 will study the effects of two controversial treatments in stroke patients.

InnerCool Therapies Inc., a subsidiary of San Diego-based Cardium Therapeutics Inc., and the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston entered into an agreement to study the effects of caffeine and ethyl alcohol , called caffeinol , in acute ischemic stroke patients.

Ischemic stroke, the most common kind of stroke, is caused by a clot that reduces blood flow to the brain.

One objective of the licensing agreement will be to evaluate the safety and efficacy of treating stroke patients with caffeinol, administered by intravenous infusion in combination with InnerCool's hypothermia treatment, which reduces body temperature through a catheter inserted into a large blood vessel.

An estimated 7.2 million American women are living with coronary heart disease and more than 4.6 million women suffer from angina.

The American Heart Association has reported that more women's lives are claimed annually by cardiovascular disease than by the next five leading causes of death combined (all cancers, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Alzheimer's, diabetes and accidents).

In the United States, about 225 hospitals out of 5,700 have employed hypothermia systems, according to Cardium.

James Grotta, professor of neurology at the University of Texas Medical School and director of the stroke program, said in a prepared statement that the combination of caffeinol and temperature modulation therapies could reduce damage to brain tissue following stroke.

Cardium reported a net loss of $6.4 million on revenues of $229,472 for the most recent quarter ended June 30, compared with a net loss of $3.6 million on revenues of $209,438 during the same period a year ago.

Cardium, incorporated in 2003, is traded on the American Stock Exchange under the symbol CXM.

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TorreyPines Drug Candidate Shown To Reduce Headache Pain: A TorreyPines Therapeutics Inc. lead drug candidate showed significant improvements in reducing migraine-related headache pain in a Phase 2 trial, according to company data released Oct. 22.

A 40 milligram dose of drug candidate tezampanel showed significant improvements on headache pain response in patients who suffered a single acute migraine attack when compared with a placebo.

TorreyPines said it intends to submit data from the recent trial to the FDA to initiate a Phase 3 program in acute migraine in the second half of 2008.

An estimated 28 million Americans , one in five women and one in 15 men , experience migraines. The debilitating condition costs American employers about $13 billion a year.

TorreyPines stock is traded under the symbol TPTX on Nasdaq. The company reported a net loss of $5.2 million on revenues of $1.7 million for the most recent quarter ended June 30, compared with a net loss of $5.7 million on revenues of $1.7 million during the same period a year ago.

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Cytori-Sponsored Study Finds Adipose Stem And Regenerative Cells Not Linked To Arrhythmias: Stem and regenerative cells derived from fat tissue were found not to be linked to arrhythmias following a heart attack in a preclinical study sponsored by Cytori Therapeutics Inc.

The findings were reported in a journal of the European Society of Cardiology. Arrhythmias are irregular heart rhythms that are common following heart attacks and can result in life threatening complications.

"This is a significant safety finding, indicating that freshly isolated, uncultured, adipose-derived stem and regenerative cells did not promote arrhythmias after a heart attack," said Kai Pinkernell, head of research at Cytori. "The results are important to Cytori because the cells used in this study approximate the output of our bedside cell processing device, The Celution System, which is currently in clinical testing in Europe for the treatment of heart disease. Furthermore, it favorably distinguishes adipose tissue from other sources of cells used in cell therapy, some of which have been reported to potentially increase the incidence of arrhythmias."

Cytori, traded on Nasdaq under the symbol CYTX, said it will release financial results on Nov. 12 for the quarter ended Sept. 30. Analysts estimate the stock could drop an average of 36 cents.

Cytori reported a net loss of $4 million on revenues of $512,000 for the most recent quarter ended June 30, compared with a net loss of $7.3 million on revenues of $453,000 during the same period a year ago.

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Nexus Biosystems Opens European Subsidiary: Privately held Nexus Biosystems Inc. said it would expand its services to the life sciences community by opening a European subsidiary.

Nexus said Oct. 19 that it opened a wholly owned subsidiary, called Nexus Biosystems GmbH, in Munich, Germany.

The Poway-based life sciences company is focused on technologies and automation systems for pharmaceutical, biotech and academic research institutions.

It sells sample storage and retrieval systems, plus protein crystallization systems and chemical synthesis technologies and services. Nexus is also a distributor of ultrasonic products in North America and Asia.

"The demand for Nexus products in Europe has been steadily growing," said John Lillig, president and chief executive officer of Nexus Biosystems, in a prepared statement. "Through its new subsidiary, Nexus will now be able to provide the highest level of direct support and attention for its customers as it continues to build strong customer relationships throughout Europe."

Send biotechnology industry-related news to Heather Chambers, hchambers@sdbj.com , or call (858) 277-6359, ext. 3125.