TheraTech Inc. announced Wednesday that it has acquiredcertain proprietary technologies and other assets from OraMedInc., a Chicago-based research and development companyspecializing in the development of oral, controlled-releasedrug-delivery systems.

TheraTech of Salt Lake City, which is developing productsbased on a broad range of drug-delivery technologies, issued150,000 shares of common stock (NASDAQ:THRT) to theshareholders of privately held OraMed. The deal was valued atapproximately $1.5 million. TheraTech's stock closed at $14.75a share on Wednesday, down 25 cents.

In addition, TheraTech will pay an unspecified royalty onfuture sales of two OraMed products in preclinical and clinicaldevelopment. Specifically, TheraTech acquired OraMed's solid-form oral controlled-release technology for gastrointestinal,buccal, and sublingual delivery of drugs. A product employingthis technology in lozenge form is currently in preclinicaldevelopment, and another product using an oral tabletapplication of the technology is in Phase II clinical trials.TheraTech would not reveal the specific therapeuticapplications or compounds used in these two products.

TheraTech's chief financial officer, Steven Mayer, told BioWorldthe company is currently in discussions with potentialdevelopment partners for these two products. Any otherproducts developed as a result of the acquired technologies willnot carry royalties for OraMed. In addition to the patent rightsfor the two specific products, TheraTech acquired an allowedpatent and three pending patents covering the deliverytechnologies.

OraMed was founded in 1990. Although the company willcontinue to exist, Mayer said TheraTech had acquired most ofits assets, including manufacturing equipment.

TheraTech's lead product, a testosterone patch that can be usedanywhere on the body, is nearing completion of Phase IIIclinical trials. The company plans to file a new drug applicationfor the product in mid-1994. It also recently completed PhaseII trials of its estradiol transdermal patch and plans to beginPhase III clinicals soon.

-- Karl A. Thiel Special to BioWorld

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