MacroChem Corp. said Wednesday it signed an agreement with KnollPharmaceutical Co. to test the ability of MacroChem's technology todeliver a Knoll drug through the skin.MacroChem, of Lexington, Mass., will formulate an undisclosed Knolldrug for systemic use and test it for transdermal delivery, RichardGlaser, MacroChem's chief operating officer, told BioWorld. He saidthe deal is structured so Knoll, of Whippany, N.J., the pharmaceuticalunit of BASF Corp.'s Consumer Products & Life Science Division, willfund the initial research and "it involves a commitment to moveforward if we're successful."MacroChem's core technology is its transdermal drug deliver enhancercalled SEPA, or soft enhancement of percutaneous absorption. "Ourpremise has always been that companies wanting to deliver productstransdermally will have to use an enhancer or they will be verylimited," Glaser said.MacroChem has a similar deal with Dermick Laboratories Inc., aRhone-Poulenc Rorer Inc. company, that is further along. Thatcollaboration, which is in animal studies, is researching a drug fortopical application. That particular drug has not been disclosed.MacroChem and The Upjohn Co., of Kalamazoo, Mich., terminated anagreement in May that was testing SEPA's delivery of Minoxidil as atreatment for impotence. MacroChem said its system increasedabsorption, but that Minoxidil proved ineffective in Phase II trials as atreatment for erectile problems.MacroChem (NASDAQ: MCHM) stock lost 22 cents Wednesday,closing at $1.78 per share. _ Jim Shrine
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