Incyte Pharmaceuticals Inc. announced that it expects toreceive its fourth patent on recombinant humanbactericidal/permeability increasing protein (rBPI).

The Palo Alto, Calif., company said the European Patent Officehas notified Incyte that it intends to grant a patent coveringthe DNA molecule and methods for recombinant production ofBPI. Roy Whitfield, Incyte's president and chief executive, toldBioWorld that he believed this would be the first Europeanpatent granted covering BPI.

Incyte currently has three U.S. patents for the compound. Thefirst two, granted in February and December 1992, cover,respectively, the use of BPI for endotoxin-related disorders andendotoxic shock. The third, granted in August 1993, coversliposomal and other lipid and detergent formulations of BPI.

BPI is a human neutrophil protein that the company believesacts to inactivate endotoxin. The agent may have potentialvalue as a treatment for adult respiratory distress syndrome,hemmorhagic shock and other Gram-negative infections, thecompany believes.

Xoma Corp. of Berkeley, Calif., has also applied for EuropeanrBPI composition and use patents but has not had one granted,a company representative said. The company does hold anexclusive license to an rBPI patent covering the DNA sequencescoding for human BPI and its fragments and for themanufacture of BPI-based proteins using recombinant DNAtechnology. That patent was granted to researchers at NewYork University Medical Center.

-- Karl A. Thiel Associate Editor

(c) 1997 American Health Consultants. All rights reserved.