ICAgen Inc. said Tuesday that it agreed with Eli Lilly and Co. toexpand an existing drug-discovery agreement that ICAgen establishedin April 1993 with Sphinx Pharmaceuticals Corp.Under the previous agreement, ICAgen, of Research Triangle Park,N.C., got exclusive rights to screen Sphinx's combinatorial chemistrylibraries for lead compounds that interact with ion channel targetsunder investigation by ICAgen. Under the expanded agreement,ICAgen will get exclusive rights to screen all compound librariesdeveloped using Lilly's proprietary chemical libraries against chloride,potassium and water channels, as well as non-exclusive rights to screenthe libraries against certain other types of ion channels.In April, Lilly, of Indianapolis, signed a definitive agreement to acquireSphinx, which had made undisclosed equity investments in ICAgen.The new agreement calls for Lilly to make an undisclosed cashpayment to and an equity investment in ICAgen, subject to Lilly notexceeding a 10 percent position in ICAgen. Lilly also will provideequipment to ICAgen.Lilly will get the right of first refusal to compounds discovered throughits libraries by ICAgen for several broad therapeutic areas, for whichLilly would pay ICAgen milestones and royalties. ICAgen will retainrights in the areas of vascular, respiratory, muscular and renal diseases,and other areas, for which it would pay royalties to Lilly."This strengthened agreement with Lilly gives us access to an evenbroader range of compounds that we can screen for lead drugcandidates," said P. Kay Wagoner, president of ICAgen. She toldBioWorld that ICAgen hopes to establish similar agreements with othercompanies. _ Jim Shrine

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