Neurobiological Technologies Inc. said a Phase I/II trial ofcorticotropin-releasing factor (CRF), an anti-inflammatory compoundunder evaluation for several diseases, did not demonstrate it couldimprove breathing in chronic asthma patients when the drug wasadministered in a four-hour treatment regimen.

Officials of the Richmond, Calif.-based NeurobiologicalTechnologies speculated CRF, the company's lead compound, maybe more effective for asthma "over a longer treatment duration."

In the 34-patient Phase I/II study, company researchers said the drugwas well tolerated, but "there was no statistical difference inimprovement in lung function between patients who receivedtreatment compared with those who received placebo."

Neurobiological Technologies has not decided if it will begin anotherasthma trial.

CRF, a naturally occurring human peptide produced inside andoutside the brain, is designed to reduce blood vessel leakage ofplasma proteins and white blood cells, which contribute to theinflammatory process.

The compound also is in clinical trials for inflammation associatedwith brain tumors and rheumatoid arthritis. Results of a Phase I/IItrial for rheumatoid arthritis showed CRF appeared to reduce jointinflammation. A Phase II, 100-patient study is expected to begin inthe first quarter of 1996.

Neurobiological Technologies' stock (NASDAQ:NTII) closedTuesday at $3.25, down 50 cents.

In early December 1995, the company registered to sell 2 millionshares to institutional investors. At the close of the third quarter of1995, Neurobiological Technologies said it had $7.7 million in cash.It reported a net loss for the year ending June 30, 1995, of $5.3million. _ Charles Craig

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