SangStat Medical Corp. formed a new wholly owned subsidiary thatwill focus on long-term projects related to xenotransplantation.The subsidiary, XenoStat Inc., of Menlo Park, Calif., will be fundedindependently of the parent company, by private placement, publicequity or other means, Maria Straatmann, SangStat's director ofinvestor relations, told BioWorld. SangStat, also of Menlo Park, islicensing its Ejectine technology to XenoStat, as well as Xe-9, whichrecently was licensed from the Universite Pierre et Marie Curie inParis. Neither is in human clinicals.SangStat said an Ejectine drug might make an undesirable cellresemble an incompatible animal cell, triggering an immediaterejection of the undesirable cell by the patient's own immune system.The company said that Xe-9 can extend graft survival in pig-to-primate transplant models without genetic modification of the animaldonor.Straatmann would not disclose Xe-9's mechanism of action. Shesaid, however, that the approach works on the recipient side ratherthan on the animal donor side.The Ejectine technology has potential applications outsidetransplantation, areas that would be out-license candidates,Straatmann said.Development work at XenoStat will not begin until financing isarranged, she said. Meanwhile, SangStat, which has ninetransplantation-related products or product candidates, will continueto focus on nearer-term projects.Its PRA-STAT monitoring kit, licensed to Baxter Healthcare Corp, ison the market in the U.S. and Europe to analyze antibodies to humanleukocyte antigens in prospective transplant patients. SangStat isseeking marketing approval in Canada for Thymoglobulin, which isin Phase III trials in the U.S. to treat graft rejection. Another product,Allotrap 2702, is in a Phase II study in France in kidney transplantpatients. _ Jim Shrine
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