Arris Pharmaceutical Corp. announced on Monday that it hasentered into a collaborative agreement with Kabi Pharmacia ABunder which it will apply its artificial intelligence (AI)technology to Kabi's in-house drug-discovery program.

Financial details of the agreement and therapeutic targets ofthe collaboration were not disclosed.

Arris' AI technology is used to generate a predictive model ofthe activity of targeted compounds and receptors, the SouthSan Francisco, Calif., company said. The technology involves theanalysis of data developed from both compound libraryscreening and structure-based drug analyses.

This is Arris' second collaborative agreement with the Swedishpharmaceutical company. Last April, the two companies agreedto jointly develop synthetic, orally active compounds thatmimic the actions of growth factor-related cytokines. Thecompanies hope to develop the compounds for the treatment ofinflammatory diseases. That agreement represents up to $30million to Arris in equity investments, milestone payments,royalties and research funding. Last June the company alsoentered into a similar three year R&D agreement with Amgen.

The current agreement concerning the use of Arris' AItechnology was contemplated at the time of the company'soriginal agreement with Kabi. A spokesperson for Arris saidKabi is now exercising its option to establish the collaboration,but stressed that the therapeutic target the companies arepursuing is unrelated to their mimetic growth factorcollaboration. This latest agreement will bring new, unspecifiedup front payments to Arris, he added, in addition to royaltieson any products developed from the venture.

Arris' stock (NASDAQ:ARRS) closed at $6.25 per share onMonday, down 19 cents.

-- Karl A. Thiel Associate Editor

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