Xoma Corp.'s recombinant bactericidal permeability-increasingprotein (rBPI-23) showed protection against death in a mousemodel of Gram-negative sepsis.

Six of 15 animals in the control group survived 72 hourscompared with 11 of 15 in the BPI-treated group, asignificantly increased survival probability (p<0.02, Student's Ttest).

Tom Evans of the Royal Postgraduate Medical School in Londonwill present the study results at the Interscience Conference onAntimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC) in NewOrleans on Wednesday -- one of several presentations on BPIthat will be delivered at the conference.

According to an abstract of the study, in nine mice the medianserum tumor necrosis factor (TNF) levels 90 minutes afterinfection were significantly reduced from 30.5 ng ml -1 incontrol animals to 14.2 ng ml -1 in the BPI-treated group(p<0.02, Wilcox 2 sample test).

In the study, 15 mice received either saline or BPI at a dose of5 mg/kg -1 immediately prior to bacterial inoculation, and one,two and three hours later. The bacterial inoculation consisted oforganisms of the J5 rough strain of Escherichia coli.

The abstract noted that preliminary experiments could notreproduce BPI's protective effect using the smooth strainparent of J5, E. coli. Further studies will be necessary to definethe range of organisms against which BPI is effective.

Other data presented at ICAAC include in vitro studies showingthat the anti-bacterial properties of rBPI-23 and gentamicinare enhanced when the two are used together. Another in vitrostudy showed the ability of rBPI-23 to decrease endotoxin-mediated tissue factor production, which Xoma(NASDAQ:XOMA) of Berkeley, Calif., said is a mediator ofclotting abnormalities seen in sepsis.

-- Brenda Sandburg News Editor

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