Cypros Pharmaceutical Co. said Tuesday that preclinical analysesof CPC-111 showed that it should take the agent into Phase II trialsin sickle cell crisis, an attack that occurs in sickle cell anemiapatients.Cypros, of Carlsbad, Calif., already has Phase II studies of CPC-111ongoing in adult respiratory distress syndrome and in heart failure.The company is preparing amended new drug applications toconduct the sickle cell study, as well as a trial in cardioplegia.CPC-111 is a sugar that can support the generation of fourmolecules of adenosine triphosphate for every molecule of drugunder anaerobic conditions, said Tony Fox, the company's vicepresident, drug development and regulatory affairs. Cypros saidintravenous infusion of CPC-111 led to an increase in red celladenosine triphosphate content in healthy volunteers.Cypros plans to explore all 12 indications covered by four patentson CPC-111, a small molecule the company believes can generatecellular energy in the absence of oxygen. Fox told BioWorld thesickle cell protocol should be finalized in three or four weeks. "Ifthis pans out, the clinical development plan leading to approvalwould probably be a lot quicker than using the agent" in otherindications, since the FDA gives the disease a high priority, he said.Cypros stock (NASDAQ:CYPR) closed at $13.50 per shareTuesday, down 25 cents. _ Jim Shrine

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