The characterization of Alliance Pharmaceutical Corp.'s clinical trials of its temporary oxygen carrier Oxygent was incorrect in "Biotech-Big Pharma Collaborations: Losing A Partner Doesn't Always Spell Disaster." The article appeared in the 10/12/98 issue of BioWorld Financial Watch.

Alliance reported the results of two Phase II surgical trials on Oxygent in September 1997, stating that the product was significantly more effective than fresh blood in reversing transfusion triggers (physiological indications of when a patient requires a transfusion). Also, Oxygent delayed the need for a subsequent blood transfusion significantly longer than blood.

There are numerous other potential clinical uses for a temporary oxygen carrier, including use during bypass surgery to prevent myocardial ischemia or as a neuroprotectant, use as a therapeutic agent for stroke patients and use during radiation or chemotherapy.

However, Alliance and partner Johnson & Johnson disagreed as to the scope and timing of further clinical development of Oxygent, including whether to proceed with Phase III trials and for what indication. Therefore, the partners restructured their collaboration such that Alliance regained control of the product's clinical development program while Johnson & Johnson retained certain marketing rights.

Earlier this month, Alliance announced that it expects to initiate Phase III trials in the U.S. and Europe of Oxygent — for the indication of transfusion avoidance during surgery.