The first patients have been treated with SangStat Medical Corp.'simmunosuppressive drug, Allotrap 2702, in an initial European PhaseII pharmacokinetic and safety study in kidney transplant patients, theMenlo Park, Calif., company said Wednesday.The double-blinded, placebo-controlled study will involve 21 kidneytransplant patients, with a 90-day follow-up. All patients will receivetriple immunosuppressive therapy using cyclosporine A, azathioprineand steroids. Allotrap 2702 or a placebo will be given for two to 10days immediately after transplantation. No efficacy data is expectedfrom the trial.A 1993 Phase I study, also conducted at the Centre de Transplantationin Nantes, France, demonstrated no clinically adverse effects in 32healthy volunteers, the company said.Although SangStat said it is following protocols that it hopes will beacceptable to the FDA, the company has not yet sought approval forclinical trials in the U.S.SangStat is developing the Allotrap family of peptides to promote graftacceptance in organ recipients. If permanent acceptance could beinduced, the need for chronic immunosuppresive therapy for transplantpatients could be greatly minimized, the company said.Maria Straatmann, SangStat's director of investment relations, said it istoo early to know how Allotrap will be used. But she said cyclosporine,the most widely supplied immunosuppressant, has a market of about$800 million per year.SangStat's stock (NASDAQ:SANG) lost 13 cents a share onWednesday, closing at $7.75 per share.Jim Shrine
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