Arris Pharmaceutical Corp. has identified small molecules that bind tothe receptors in its cytokine and growth factor mimetics program."The significance is we have demonstrated the viability of ourcombinatorial chemistry (library generation technology), the vibrancyof our biological assays, and have taken the first step in moving beyondthe theoretical proof of principle to the actual development of a smallmolecule mimetic," John Walker, president and chief executive officerof Arris, told BioWorld on Wednesday.The South San Francisco company has designed its technology to beparticularly useful when applied to a wide range of cell surfacereceptors that work by a dimerization mechanism, said Michael Ross,the company's executive vice president and chief technical officer."We are now using the compounds identified in our growth factormimetics program to move forward to the challenging research in thestructure-based design phase of our drug-development process."Arris has a collaboration with Kabi Pharmacia of Sweden to developorally active, synthetic small molecules that mimic the action of certainhuman growth factors. A Kabi official said the identification of thesmall molecules marks the first major milestone in the collaboration.Arris also has a collaboration, in the cytokine area, with Amgen Inc., ofThousand Oaks, Calif., to develop orally active, synthetic smallmolecules that mimic the action of erythropoietin. _ Jim Shrine

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