IMRE Corp. added $5 million to its dwindling cash position byrenegotiating its Prosorba column marketing agreement with BaxterHealthcare Corp. for use of the device to treat idiopathicthrombocytopenic purpura, an immune-mediated bleeding disorder.

The amended collaboration, said IMRE CEO Martin Cleary, givesthe Seattle-based company enough cash to keep operating for anotheryear and eliminates an immediate need to sell additional stock toraise funds.

"This gives us a total of $6 million," Cleary said. "At our burn ratewe have enough cash for the next 12 months."

Under the amendments to the February 1994 agreement, Baxter, ofDeerfield, Ill., agreed to pay $3 million in cash, buy $1 million worthof Prosorba for the quarter ending June 30, 1995, and will spend $1million promoting the device, a cost that had been IMRE'sresponsibility.

In return, Baxter is no longer obligated to minimum Prosorbapurchases, which would have totaled $30 million over three yearsunder the original deal. The first year of the agreement had requiredBaxter to buy $7 million worth of Prosorba, and the company haspaid $6.5 million of that amount. In the two succeeding years, Baxterwas to have made Prosorba purchases totaling $8 million and $15million from IMRE.

Cleary said buying another $1 million worth of the product, coupledwith Baxter's inventory, gives it enough Prosorba to meet salesprojections for a year.

The contract changes also allow Baxter to pursue collaborations forcompeting thrombocytopenia treatments.

Renegotiation of the marketing agreement was begun after the FDAdeclined to allow IMRE to include on its Prosorba label treatment ofimmune thrombocytopenic purpura. The device was approved in1987 for idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura before a specific linkfor the disorder was traced to an autoimmune response. The Prosorbacolumn is a disposable filter that uses protein A to remove circulatingimmune complexes from the bloodstream, and it is used off-label totreat immune thrombocytopenic purpura.

The revised Baxter collaboration, Cleary said, also allows IMRE toseek alliances with other companies for Prosorba column in thetreatment of rheumatoid arthritis and kidney transplants, twoadditional diseases for which the device is being developed. Clearysaid IMRE currently is in discussions with potential partners forclinical development in both indications.

IMRE's stock (NASDAQ:IMRE) closed Monday at $1.81, up 19cents.n

-- Charles Craig

(c) 1997 American Health Consultants. All rights reserved.