Interferon Sciences Inc. got an option to reacquire North Americanrights for Alferon N Injection from The Purdue Frederick Co.

Interferon Sciences, of New Brunswick, N.J., can get back marketingrights for $3 million until June 30, along with issuing PurdueFrederick common stock worth at least $9 million. Terms of theoriginal 1989 deal gave Interferon Sciences reacquisition rights for$12 million.

Alferon N Injection is a natural form of interferon extracted fromcultured white blood cells. It is approved in the U.S. and Mexico fortreatment of genital warts, and is in clinical studies for HIV, hepatitisC, Kaposi's sarcoma and small cell lung cancer. U.S. sales in 1994were estimated at $3 million, said Samuel Ronel, the company'spresident and CEO.

Ronel told BioWorld a large, multinational pharmaceutical partner isnecessary for Alferon N Injection to reach its potential, both in itscurrent and potential indications. Apparently, Interferon Scienceswould like to secure a partner, and at least $3 million, before the June30 option deadline.

Interferon Sciences already reacquired overseas rights to the product.The agreement with Norwalk, Conn.-based Purdue Frederick calls forthe transfer of 2.5 million shares of common stock with a guaranteedvalue of $9 million (valued 18 months from the day the option isexercised). Interferon Sciences would issue a note for any shortfalls.Its stock (NASDAQ:IFSC) closed unchanged Tuesday at 42 pershare.

Interferon Sciences reported $450,000 in cash and equivalents onDec. 31, and has been funded since by parent company, the NationalPatent Development Corp., of New York. _ Jim Shrine

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