Celltech Group plc's genetically engineered humanantibody, CDP 571, showed a consistent reduction inulcerative colitis, investigators reported Monday.

Celltech, of Slough, England, is collaborating withGermany-based Bayer AG on development of CDP 571,which blocks the action of tumor necrosis factor. Thecompanies also have the antibody in the clinic in Crohn'sdisease, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and septic shock.

Data from the Phase II study were presented at theEuropean Gastroenterology Week in Berlin. It involved15 patients with mild to moderate ulcerative colitis whowere in relapse or were unresponsive to steroid treatment.The patients were injected with a 5 mg/kg dose of drugand followed for eight weeks.

A clear reduction in disease activity, as measured byvarious markers, was seen in 10 of the patients, Celltechsaid. For all 15 patients, there was a 27 percent reductionin disease activity after one week, a 48 percent reductionin disease severity score after two weeks, and a 55percent reduction in the mean blood level of C-reactiveprotein (an inflammation marker) after one week. _ JimShrine

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