Macronex Inc. is teaming up with the Research TriangleInstitute (RTI) to identify compounds to treat cancer andinflammatory diseases, Macronex announced Monday.

Macronex will use its bioassay drug-discovery system toevaluate the effect of compounds from RTI's library on humanmacrophages. The company's screening programs showwhether a compound modulates various functions of themacrophage, a type of white blood cell that initiates andregulates immune system responses.

Once compounds with selected activity are isolated, Macronexplans to collaborate with major pharmaceutical companies fortheir clinical development. Macronex vice president ofcorporate development Richard Mueller said the company mayconduct clinical trials itself if the drugs are in its niche area,which includes treatment of disseminated intravascularcoagulation and occular indications. Macronex and RTI willshare rights to any drugs that evolve from the research. RTI isa non-profit research institution based in Research TrianglePark, N.C.

Macronex's agreement with RTI is the company's third researchcollaboration to identify new drug compounds. Morrisville, N.C.-based Macronex is evaluating Phytopharmaceuticals Inc.'s plantextracts and compounds and Boron Biologicals Inc.'s boron-derived compounds under agreements signed last fall (seeBioWorld, Oct. 7 and Nov. 1, 1993).

-- Brenda Sandburg News Editor

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