Matrix Pharmaceutical Inc. on Wednesday filed a newdrug application (NDA) seeking approval of AccuSiteinjectable gel for the treatment of genital warts.

The stock (NASDAQ:MATX) of the Menlo Park, Calif.,company gained $1.25 on the news, closing at $14.50 pershare. In August Matrix filed for approval of the productin the U.K.

Last week Matrix paid $2 million to U.K.-based Medevaplc to repurchase U.S. and European marketing rights tothe product. The company plans to market AccuSite inthe U.S. and seek partners in Europe.

AccuSite is a sustained-release chemotherapy packageconsisting of a biodegradable protein matrix, 5-fluorouracil and the vasoconstrictor epinephrine. Theproduct also is in Phase III trials for basal cell cancer.

The AccuSite technology currently is the subject oflitigation initiated by Palo Alto, Calif.-based CollagenCorp., which alleged in a December 1994 complaint thatMatrix stole trade secrets. Collagen claimed that Matrixgained access to its process for large-scale production ofpurified fibrillar collagen by hiring 10 former Collagenemployees.

Beverly Holley, Matrix's director of investor relationsand corporate communications, told BioWorld Today thatMatrix used Collagen materials in early studies. But, shesaid, "we do not employ the materials in our currentproduct configurations."

In February Matrix, in response to the Collagencomplaint, denied all charges. It also filed a cross-complaint seeking recovery of damages for allegeddefamation, violations of California antitrust laws andother causes of actions. Earlier this month Collagenamended its complaint by naming two former Collagenemployees as defendants.

Matrix is limited in what it can say about the court action_ and the AccuSite NDA _ because it is in registration.On Sept. 5, 1995, Matrix registered to sell 3 millionshares in a public offering. In July it brought in $18million in a private placement.

The company's president and CEO, Craig McMullen,said in a news release that Matrix is going ahead withplans to establish a direct sales organization to marketAccuSite in the U.S. He said potential partners in Europewill be evaluated while approval is pending there.

Matrix also is developing IntraDose injectable gelproducts, which consist of similar technology and also aredirectly injected to the site of disease. Phase III studies ofa cisplatin formulation of IntraDose are ongoing invarious accessible tumors, and Phase II studies are beingdone in other cancers. n

-- Jim Shrine

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