Zynaxis Inc. presented preclinical studies supporting use of thecompany's Zyn-Linker conjugates for improved administration of localradiotherapy as a potential treatment for rheumatoid arthritis.Zyn-Linkers are synthetic lipid-like molecules chemically designed toinsert into cell membranes. Zyn-Linker conjugates are Zyn-Linkerswith active drugs or radiometal chelators chemically attached.Zynaxis, of Malvern, Pa., presented in vivo data Thursday _ at theannual meeting of the Mid-Eastern Chapter Society of NuclearMedicine in Rockville, Md. _ showing the conjugates bearingradiotherapeutic metals become rapidly bound to joint-lining cells andremain well localized in the joint space after injection directly into theknee. The company also reported that, based on the preclinicals,treatment of a joint with yttrium-90 Zyn-Linker is not expected tocause unacceptable exposure of other organs to radiation.Martyn Greenacre, chairman and chief executive officer of Zynaxis,said those suffering from advanced stages of rheumatoid arthritis havethree options: surgery, replacement of the joint, or, in Europe, use of aradiochemical, which comes with concerns about containingradioactivity to the treated joint."We believe we can limit that leakage to within acceptable levels, soyour side effect profile is much improved," Greenacre told BioWorld."In comparison to existing radiochemical products used in Europe, webelieve we get a more homogenous distribution across the synoviumtissue."Zynaxis also is studying, in preclinical testing, the use of Zyn-Linkertechnology for the treatment of cancer and for the prevention ofrestenosis following balloon angioplasty. _ Jim Shrine

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