Cygnus Therapeutic Systems Inc. and Ortho Pharmaceutical Corp. willcollaborate to develop the first transdermal contraceptive patch in theU.S. The collaboration will draw on Cygnus' experience in developinga transdermal hormone replacement patch and on Ortho's expertise indeveloping and marketing contraceptive products.Craig Carlson, Cygnus' vice president for corporate communications,said the contraceptive patch will be designed to work for seven days. Itwill be attached to the hip or buttock. He said the transdermalapplication could have two benefits over other contraceptive methods:it might allow a smaller dose of hormones to be administered; and itmight improve compliance in taking the medication.Carlson said it is too early to tell what the cost of the new product willbe and whether it will be cheaper than other contraceptives nowavailable.Redwood City, Calif.-based Cygnus is already developing transdermalhormone replacement patches, five in collaboration with Wyeth-AyerstLaboratories of Radnor, Pa. and two with Warner-Lambert Co. ofMorris Plains, N.J.Under the agreement, Ortho, of Raritan, N.J. (a subsidiary of Johnsonand Johnson of New Brunswick, N.J.) will have exclusive worldwidemarketing rights. Cygnus will receive up-front and milestonepayments, as well as a percentage of net sales worldwide. In addition,Cygnus will be reimbursed by Ortho for its development costs, Carlsonsaid. _ Philippa Maister

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