IBEX Technologies Inc. obtained exclusive U.S. patent rights to atechnology for the oral administration of enzymes from McGillUniversity in Montreal, the Montreal company said Thursday.The patent provides broad coverage of the use of orally administeredenzymes to reduce plasma levels of specific amino acids. IBEX, usingencapsulation techniques, plans to deliver enzymes intact into the smallintestine, where they will act locally to capture specific unwantedamino acids.Paul Baehr, vice chairman and CEO of IBEX, told BioWorld theagreement with McGill involved a "modest licensing fee," annualmaintenance payments, milestones and royalties.`The history of IBEX has been the focus on developing expressionsystems for hard-to-acquire enzymes," Baehr said. The company'sprotein production system is based on the organism Flavobacteriumheparinum, from which it has produced and purified a family ofenzymes that have demonstrated activity in the reversal of heparin andthe ability to control glycosaminoglycan-mediated processes.The technology from McGill, Baehr said, is applicable to therapeuticsfor enzyme disorders, such as phenylketonuria, and may apply as anadjuvant therapy for acute lymphocytic leukemia patients.IBEX is 82 percent-owned by Continental Pharma Cryosan Inc. ofMontreal. _ Jim Shrine
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