Chiron Corp. said preliminary Phase III data from studiesof Regranex, a platelet-derived growth factor underdevelopment with Johnson & Johnson for diabetic skinulcers, is favorable, but details will not be disclosed untillater.

Larry Kurtz, Chiron's vice president of corporatecommunications, said the Emeryville, Calif.-basedcompany and Johnson & Johnson, of New Brunswick,N.J., released general findings for the Phase III Regranexstudies to head off speculation among investors.

Chiron makes the platelet-derived growth factor beta(PDGF-B) used in Regranex and supplies it to Johnson &Johnson, which turns the PDGF-B into a gel. Becauseboth companies are beginning scale-up manufacturingactivities associated with the likely submission of a newdrug application next year, Kurtz said they decided torelease preliminary results.

Chiron's stock (NASDAQ:CHIR) topped $100 per shareMonday, reaching $100.50, an increase of $2.88.

Chiron and Johnson & Johnson began their collaborationto develop wound healing products in 1986. Their firstdrug candidate, epidermal growth factor, did not showbeneficial activity in clinical trials.

In addition to developing Regranex for diabetic skinulcers, the wound healing product also is in Phase IIIstudies for pressure ulcers.

Chiron collaborates with Johnson & Johnson in two areasin addition to wound healing. The two companies alsohave alliances focusing on diagnostics and drug discoverybased on combinatorial chemistry. _ Charles Craig

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