Telor Ophthalmic Pharmaceuticals Inc. announced Tuesday thatit will take a two-pronged approach to the development of adrug to control intraocular pressure associated with glaucoma.

Telor (NASDAQ: TELR) of Woburn, Mass., will pursuedevelopment of both an analog to its ethacrynic acid productTekron and a new class of molecules similar to ethacrynic acid.

The company encountered problems with its originalformulation of Tekron during Phase IIa clinicals last year whenit discovered that a once-daily 1.5 percent concentration topicaldose of the agent caused eye irritation. Last September, thecompany announced that it was considering eitherreformulating the agent to palliate this effect or developing oneof its preclinical substances with similar properties.

The company is now pursuing "encouraging" preclinical data inglaucomatous monkeys, indicating that new excipientscombined with ethacrynic acid decrease intraocular pressureapproximately 10 mm Hg -- similar to the original Tekron --with an absence of eye irritation. At the same time,glaucomatous monkey data shows that a similar molecule wasable to produce a 10 mm Hg reduction in intraocular pressurewithout irritation.

Xarano, the company's lead product, which contains the sameactive ingredient as Tekron but in a much lower concentration,is in Phase III clinicals. It is being developed for reduction orprevention of transient post-operative increases in intraocularpressure during cataract surgery.

The company also recently completed Phase I/II clinicals on adrug to treat presbyopia, an age-related impairment that limitsthe ability of the eye to focus on near objects. Telor completedits initial public offering last May. -- Karl Thiel

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