Metra Biosystems Inc. said it has licensed its pyridiniumcrosslinks technology to Ciba Corning Diagnostics Corp. (CCD).

Metra of Palo Alto, Calif., said the technology can be used tomeasure bone loss in diseases such as osteoporosis by detectingpyridinium crosslinks released into the blood and urine duringbone resorption. Under the agreement, CCD will incorporate thisbiochemical marker into a fully automated diagnostic test forbone resorption.

CCD will be responsible for manufacturing and marketing theACS:180 system using the resorption marker and willcommercialize the test worldwide, with the exception of Japan,where Metra holds a previous agreement with Sumitomicovering the technology. In return, privately held Metra willreceive an undisclosed up-front payment and royalties.

Pyrilinks, Metra's immunoassay for detecting bone resorption,is currently under FDA review. The company said an August1993 draft guideline issued by FDA's Division of Metabolismand Endocrine Drug Products suggested the use of urinarypyridinium crosslinks as a marker for bone resorption duringpreclinical and clinical evaluation of drug candidates. Pyrilinksand Pyrilinks D are the only immunoassays for the detection ofpyridinium crosslinks, the company said.

-- Karl A. Thiel Associate Editor

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