Heska Corp. acquired a worldwide exclusive license to develop and commercialize ImmuLogic Pharmaceutical Corp.'s recombinant allergen technology for diagnosis and treatment of allergies in humans and animals.

Heska, of Fort Collins, Colo., initially will use the license to develop diagnostic testing for house dust mites, ragweed, and grass allergens.

ImmuLogic of Waltham, Mass., will receive undisclosed license fees, milestone payments and royalties for both veterinary and human applications.

Heska's license is non-exclusive in Japan. ImmuLogic last month entered an agreement with Sankyo Co. Ltd., of Tokyo, for recombinant allergens to treat Japanese cedar pollen allergies. (See BioWorld Today. May 28, 1998, p. 1.)

For Heska, the deal provides more tools to diagnose allergies in cats and dogs without using a skin test. "This intellectual property will further our diagnosing and testing abilities," said Robert Grieve, Heska's chief scientific officer. "We will use it along with our Allercept allergy diagnostic technology and we now can test for about 90 different allergens.

"There are two sides to in vitro allergy testing," Grieve said. "One is the quality of the allergen, and this really helps in this regard. We're constantly looking at ways to improve that quality and by bringing in recombinant allergens into natural mixtures, we believe this is a great opportunity to do that."

The second advantage is that the combination of the better allergens along with Allercept will lead to better detection, he continued. "That, in turn, leads to more satisfying therapeutic results. The better you understand the cause, the better you can treat it."

The company also intends to use its research to diagnose and treat human allergic diseases through its subsidiaries, Center Laboratories Inc., in Fort Washington, N.Y., and CMG Allergy Products S.A., in Vribourg, Switzerland. — Mary Welch