Scios Nova Inc. began the first in a series of Phase II studies to testits brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) for the treatment of acutecongestive heart failure.The product, Natrecor BNP, initially will be tested in two 60-persondose-ranging studies in which patients will receive multiple bolusinjections of the drug over 24 hours. Later Phase II studies willinvolve dose-ranging infusion studies of the drug.Natrecor BNP is a synthetic version of the naturally occurringhormone. Studies have shown that BNP production in the heartincreases dramatically in patients with congestive heart failure,indicating that BNP may be a natural corrective response, thecompany said.Kira Bacon, director of investor relations for the Mountain View,Calif., company, told BioWorld that Scios Nova will be looking forproper dosing and dose regimens. Measures of heart function will bea primary endpoint. She said the Phase II studies are expected to becompleted near year-end 1995.An abstract detailing results of a Phase I/II trial of Natrecor will bemade by the clinical investigator at the American Heart Association67th Scientific Sessions on Nov. 14 in Dallas, Bacon said.Scios Nova's lead product, Auriculin, is in Phase III trials in acuterenal failure. The company's recombinant basic fibroblast growth isbeing tested in a Phase III trial in Japan by Kaken PharmaceuticalCo. Ltd. for intractable dermal ulcers.The company's stock (NASDAQ:SCIO) was up 25 cents per shareThursday, closing at $7. _ Jim Shrine

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