Arris Pharmaceutical Corp., at its annual shareholders meetingTuesday, announced that it is focusing on inhibition of the mast cellprotease called tryptase, in its development of an asthma therapeutic.The South San Francisco company is developing APC 366, anonsteroidal compound, to inhibit tryptase, a regulatory enzyme.APC 366 is in a safety trial running through the summer, Patty Lord, aninvestor relations associate for Arris, told BioWorld. The companyhopes to enter Phase II trials by the end of the year, and is gearing up toenter trials for rhinitis, she said."Our decision to focus on this target was based in part on evidence thathigh concentrations of tryptase are found in the lungs of patientssuffering from asthma and other serious respiratory diseases," saidJohn Walker, president and CEO of Arris. "Tryptase's role in asthmahas not been clearly defined, however, due to a lack of therapeuticallyuseful tryptase inhibitors." _ Jim Shrine

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