Allelix Biopharmaceuticals Inc. announced Friday that it hasentered into an agreement with W.R. Grace & Co. to developpharmaceutical products based on Grace's thrombospondintechnology. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, butAllelix will pay royalties to Grace on sales of any products thatresult from the alliance.

Grace's thrombospondin technology, which the Boca Raton, Fla.,company has been developing since 1987, involves inhibitorsthat block the action of the "biological glue" (thrombospondin)that attaches different cells to one another, the company said.Thrombospondin is implicated in several illnesses, includingcancer and sickle cell anemia.

Allelix of Mississauga, Ontario, will use the thrombospondintechnology in its anti-inflammatory research program. Thecompany said it will initially apply thrombospondin inhibitorsto an effort to develop compounds that reduce the damage thatoccurs in inflammatory disease.

Allelix is researching other anti-inflammatory as well ascentral nervous system therapeutics. The company's leadcompound, ALX40-4C, is currently being tested against HIV ina Phase I clinical trial. -- Karl Thiel

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