Interneuron Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Lexington, Mass., saidWednesday it purchased a Denver-based research and developmentfirm that is developing a cardiovascular drug scheduled for Phase IIItesting later this year or in early 1995.The drug, bucindolol, is described as a third-generation beta-blockerdesigned to treat heart failure. It has been chosen by the Department ofVeterans Affairs and the National Institutes of Health for a trialinvolving 3,000 patients nationwide.Cardiovascular Pharmacology and Engineering Consultants is thedeveloper of the drug. William Boni, Interneuron's communicationsdirector, declined to reveal details the purchase of the private company.He said Interneuron paid stock and cash for CardiovascularPharmacology and is contributing $2 million to the trial. The federalgovernment will provide the primary funding for the study. Boni saidthe purchase of Cardiovascular Pharmacology is contingent on theinitiation of the tests.Depending on the results of the trial, bucindolol could be on the marketin three to five years, Boni said. The drug is used to treat patientsstricken with heart failure by enabling the heart to pump more easily.In a recent Phase II test on 139 patients, those who were givenbucindolol showed improved heart function at all dosage levelscompared to patients who received placebo.Interneuron has formed a wholly owned subsidiary, called IntercardiaInc., to manage the development of bucindolol. CardiovascularPharmacology's operations, facilities and personnel will beconsolidated with Intercardia, which will be headquartered in Denver.Boni said Cardiovascular Pharmacology was an attractive acquisitionbased on the development progress of bucindolol, the availability ofgovernment funding for the trails and the target market size. Accordingto Interneuron, an estimated 3.5 million patients suffering from heartfailure are potential recipients of the drug.Interneuron's stock (NASDAQ: IPIC) closed Wednesday at $6.63 pershare, down 3 cents from the previous day. _ Charles Craig
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