Repligen Corp. and Eli Lilly and Co. extended their agreementinvolving drugs that bind to the CD11b receptor through 1996, givingLilly time to take over the program's manufacturing anddevelopment.

Repligen, of Cambridge, Mass., and Lilly, of Indianapolis, have beencollaborating since 1992 on development of antibodies directedagainst the CD11b receptor on neutrophils. The collaboration's leadproduct, m60.1, is in Phase I/II studies for reperfusion injuries.

Repligen, which has cut its development focus and personnel in thepast year because of financial difficulties, is in negotiations to mergewith Medco Research Inc., of Research Triangle Park, N.C., for $51million worth of Medco stock.

Avery Catlin, Repligen's chief financial officer, told BioWorld thatRepligen will get milestone payments based on the transfer ofmanufacturing and development to Lilly, increased royalties onproduct sales, and funding for Repligen personnel involved in thetransition. Catlin said Lilly's takeover of the program was theexpected direction for the collaboration to take.

Under terms of the original deal, Lilly bought $4 million worth ofRepligen stock _ at $14.29 per share _ and provided $10 million infirst-year research funding. Repligen's stock (NASDAQ:RGEN)closed at $2.31 Thursday, up 6 cents per share.

There are ongoing studies of m60.1 in thoracoabdominal aorticaneurysm, cardiopulmonary bypass and head injury patients. Thecompound is a fragment of an antibody to the CD11b integrin, aprotein component of neutrophils that plays a key role in acute tissueinjury. _ Jim Shrine

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