Cytel Corp. said Wednesday that it started Phase II trials of itscarbohydrate-based drug, Cylexin, targeting an acute form ofreperfusion lung injury.The cell adhesion blocker is being evaluated for its ability to reducereperfusion injury following surgical removal of blood clots from thelungs by a procedure called pulmonary thromboendarterectomy. TheSan Diego company said it plans to start a Phase II trial of Cylexin laterthis year for reperfusion injury resulting after angioplasty treatment formyocardial infarction.Cylexin, formerly called CY-1503, is a complex carbohydrate that willbind both the E- and P-selectin receptors.Richard Rose, Cylexin's vice president, drug development and chiefmedical officer, told BioWorld that only three "mild and reversible"side effects _ two at the injection site and one headache _ possiblyrelated to the drug were seen in Phase I testing, which involved 24patients. They were separated into placebos and dosing regimens of 2,20 or 60 mg/kg intravenous bolus followed by either 1, 10 or 20 mg/kggiven over 10 hours of continuous IV infusion.Rose said the Phase II study is expected to involve 50 patients, halftreated with placebo and half with the middle dose from the Phase Itrial, which exceeded the maximum concentration for inducing selectinblockade in preclinical studies.Cytel (NASDAQ:CYTL) stock closed unchanged Wednesday at $3.38per share. _ Jim Shrine
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