Sibia Neurosciences Inc. expanded its licensing agreement with TheSalk Institute for Biological Sciences in a deal giving Sibia exclusiverights to nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (NAChR) as drugdiscovery targets.

The NAChR program is among the four lead programs at Sibia, andthe only one currently being advanced without a partner. From thatprogram Sibia has selected and characterized SIB-1508Y as acompound for Parkinson's disease.

The license with The Salk Institute was converted to exclusive fromnon-exclusive and expanded to include all NAChRs in which theinstitute holds rights. Sibia, of La Jolla, Calif., will pay royalties onany sales coming from the technology.

The Salk Institute, which founded Sibia in 1981 and is its largestshareholder, holds patents containing claims to different mammalianNAChR subunit clones. The institute has demonstrated the receptorsrepresent a major excitatory system involved in many neuronalprocesses.

The human receptor/ion channel subtypes program at Sibia alsoencompasses excitatory amino acid receptors and voltage-gatedcalcium channels, which are partnered with Ciba-Geigy Ltd., ofBasel, Switzerland, and Eli Lilly and Co., of Indianapolis,respectively. Sibia's other program, in the protease area, focuses onamyloid precursor proteins for Alzheimer's disease. That program ispartnered with New York-based Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.

Last month Sibia registered for an initial public offering of 2.1million shares. (See BioWorld Today, March 25, 1996, p. 1.) _ JimShrine

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