Carrington Laboratories Inc.'s acemannan hydrogel wound dressingagent will be incorporated into Cambrex Hydrogels' polymerhydrogel system for an improved product, Cambrex said. Carringtonof Irving, Texas, will market the dressing under the trade nameCarrasyn ClearDres, initially for the management of venous stasisdermal ulcers.

Acemannan is the main ingredient in Carrington's line of wounddressing and wound cleansing products. Cambrex Hydrogels ofHarriman, N.Y., said its polymer hydrogel system uses "high-water-content dressings that are moisture vapor permeable for avoidanceof skin maceration" and can be left on wound sites longer thanconventional dressings and removed painlessly. The company, a unitof Cambrex Corp., a manufacturer of specialty and fine chemicals andpharmaceutical intermediates, said it is developing partnerships tocollaborate in the development of other hydrogel-based wound care,drug delivery and medical device applications.

Acemannan is a complex carbohydrate isolate of the aloe vera plant.It is marketed as a vaccine adjuvant in poultry by Solvay AnimalHealth Inc. and has been granted conditional approval by the U.S.Department of Agriculture for the treatment of fibrosarcoma in dogsand cats.

Carrington (ASE:CRN) also is developing acemannan for use in cancerand ulcerative colitis. The compound is a macrophage stimulant thatprods white blood cells to release the cytokines IL-1 and tumornecrosis factor. An injectable formulation is in Phase I/II testing foruse as an adjunct to AZT and for use in the treatment of ulcerativecolitis, and an investigational new drug (IND) is pending for use incancer. A topical formulation is in clinicals for allergic rhinitis andaphthous ulcers. -- Brenda Sandburg

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