LeukoSite Inc., a privately held Massachusetts company, entered itssecond major collaboration with Roche Bioscience for the discoveryof drugs targeting asthma and allergic disorders.

Financial details were not disclosed. LeukoSite, of Cambridge, willreceive a license fee, research funding, milestone payments androyalties from Roche Bioscience, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based researchdivision of Roche Holding Ltd., of Basel, Switzerland.

The collaboration is based on LeukoSite's discovery of thechemokine eotaxin and its receptor on the surface of eosinophils,which are white blood cells involved in inflammatory responses.

Christopher Mirabelli, LeukoSite's chairman and CEO, said eotaxinbinds to the eosinophil chemokine receptor, CKR-3, triggeringrecruitment of the leukocytes to the lung. The eosinophil assault isbelieved to be a contributor to asthma.

Mirabelli said LeukoSite and Roche Bioscience will develop small-molecule compounds or antibodies designed to block the chemokinesfrom binding to the CKR-3 receptor.

"Each side will provide biology and chemistry," Mirabelli said.

LeukoSite's first major collaboration was signed in 1994 withWarner-Lambert Co., of Morris Plains, N.J., for the discovery ofdrugs targeting other chemokines linked to inflammatory diseases. _Charles Craig

(c) 1997 American Health Consultants. All rights reserved.