Texas Biotechnology Corp. launched another Phase II trial ofNovastan to test the potential heparin substitute as an adjunctivetherapy to streptokinase, a blood clot dissolver, in the treatment ofheart attacks.

Earlier this month the Houston-based company began another PhaseII/III trial of Novastan as a post-surgical coronary therapy for patientswho develop heparin-induced thrombocytopenia and heparin-inducedthrombocytopenia thrombosis syndrome.

Heparin is the standard anticoagulant used in coronary procedures.However, Novastan, a small molecule drug that inhibits thrombin _the enzyme involved in blood clotting _ is expected to have fewerside effects. And in earlier comparison studies with heparin, thecompany said, Novastan had a favorable clinical profile.

Heparin also is used with thrombolytics, streptokinase and t-PA, intreating heart attacks.

The trials of Novastan with streptokinase will involve 750 patients at45 medical centers in the U.S. and Canada. Novastan also will betested in conjunction with t-PA, but fewer patients will be enrolled.Results from both studies are expected during 1996.

David McWilliams, president and CEO of Texas Biotechnology, saidNovastan, in conjunction with thrombolytics, is designed to speed theclot dissolving process as well as prevent reformation of blood clots._ Charles Craig

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