By Kim Coghill

Washington Editor

IntraBiotics Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Albany Molecular Research Inc. entered a research and technology licensing agreement for the discovery and development of anti-infective therapies.

The two-year renewable agreement allows IntraBiotics access to the proprietary drug discovery Diversity Library, Preseparated Premium Library and associated technologies created and developed at AMRI's recently acquired Bothell Research Center (formerly New Chemical Entities Inc.) to identify compounds or families of compounds that demonstrate antimicrobial or antifungal activity.

James Goff, senior director of investor and public relations for Mountain View, Calif.-based IntraBiotics, would not disclose financial details of the agreement except to say AMRI will receive technology access fees, research funding and success-based milestone payments for each drug developed.

ARMI, located in Albany, N.Y., also will be entitled to royalty payments from products resulting from the collaboration. IntraBiotics will have an exclusive worldwide license to develop and commercialize resulting drugs.

"We are in the business of developing novel antifungal and antibacterial drugs so we will be looking for leads that have the capability of being developed as products that would fight serious infectious diseases," Goff said. "We partnered with ARMI because of the broad diversity of their libraries as well as the chemistry for analyzing and identifying the compounds that come out of those screens."

The Diversity Library is a large collection of natural product samples derived from fermentations of AMRI's collection of microorganisms. Compounds showing relevant activity will be identified by screening and developed by IntraBiotics for the treatment or prevention of bacterial or fungal infections.

IntraBiotics has other products in development, including its two lead candidates, Ramoplanin Oral for prevention of vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) bloodstream infections in cancer patients, and Protegrin IB-367 Rinse for oral mucositis. Both products are in Phase III clinical trials.

The company recently started Phase II trials of IB-367 gel for the prevention of ventilator-associated pneumonia and will soon begin Phase II trials of Protegrin IB-367 Aerosol for cystic fibrosis patients.

IntraBiotics last January entered a drug discovery, development and licensing agreement with Diversa Corp., of San Diego. The companies are working to design antimicrobial drug screens that will be used with Diversa's PathwayLibraries, which are novel libraries of natural products generated by recombinant methods from environmental samples.

IntraBiotics' stock (NASDAQ:IBPI) closed Thursday at $8.75, down 81.25 cents. AMRI's stock (NASDAQ:AMRI) closed at $46.125, down $1.625.