Hauser Chemical Research Inc. (NASDAQ:HAUS) and AmericanCyanamid Co. (NYSE:ACY) have signed agreements to work togetherto develop new anti-cancer drugs. One agreement relates to thecommercialization of Hauser's compound paclitaxel, the only form oftaxol approved by the FDA for the treatment of cancer. The second isfor the development of new anticancer drugs based on taxane analogs.Hauser has been producing paclitaxel for Bristol-Myers Squibb's drug,Taxol, which was approved for use in ovarian and breast cancer, underan agreement which expires in July. Under the arrangement with itsnew partner, Hauser will provide bulk paclitaxel to Wayne, N.J.-basedCyanamide. Cyanamide will develop and market the drug in the U.S.and Canada through Davis, Calif.-based Immunex Corp., which has a60 percent stake in the drug, and in the rest of the world through itsLederle Laboratories.Cyanamide and Hauser will also collaborate in the synthesis andevaluation of new taxane analogs.Hauser's president and chief operating officer, Dean Stull, toldBioWorld Cyanamide would provide funding in several forms.Milestone payments will be made, including a $1 million paymentupon signing. In addition, Cyanamide will share in research costs.Hauser will also share in marketing and distribution revenues. "Thiswill be more like a partnership than a supply contract," Stull said.Finally, Hauser will receive compensation for the production ofsupplies of paclitaxel needed for clinical development.Although no semi-synthetic taxol has yet been approved, Stull saidHauser has taxane analogs ready for approval. He said the Boulder,Colo. company has composition of matter patents on new compoundsand on the process used to make them.Stull said the taxane analogs are similar to paclitaxel but different instructure. He noted that the new molecules could either improve anti-cancer activity, reduce side effects, or be used for new indications suchas kidney disease or a broader range of cancers.Hauser and Cyanamid will tailor their marketing approach to eachcountry. "In some countries we might market the generic equivalent, inothers we might file a new drug application for a proprietary product. Itcould take two to four years for approval depending on the country."Hauser closed at $9.12, up $1.50. Cyanamide closed at $51.38, up 88cents, and Immunex rose 25 cents to close at $13.25 in trading onFriday. n

-- Philippa Maister

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