Macronex Inc. has received a $75,000 Phase I small businessinnovation research (SBIR) grant from the National Institute ofGeneral Medical Sciences for research on a receptor to aninflammatory protein.

The company said it will use the grant to conduct research toclone and characterize the MCP-1 receptor and identify anddevelop molecules that block the activity of the receptor. MCP-1 is a protein that acts on monocytes, a type of white blood cellimplicated in a variety of inflammatory diseases.

Macronex of Morrisville, N.C., was founded in 1990 to developtherapeutics for acute and chronic inflammatory diseases thatare targeted to macrophages. Macrophages are one of threetypes of white blood cells in the human body that initiate,regulate and effect immune and inflammatory responses.

In January the company received two SBIR grants from theNational Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. One grantis for preclinical studies of a class of peptides and proteins withpotential for use in treatment of inflammatory andautoimmune diseases and graft rejection. The second grant isfor research on a class of unique, derivatized amino acids thathave demonstrated immunosuppressive activities in murinemodels. -- Brenda Sandburg

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