Chemex Pharmaceutical Inc. has filed an investigational newdrug (IND) application with FDA to begin clinical testing ofmasoprocol cream as an anti-wrinkling agent.

Masoprocol is the active ingredient in Actinex, a topical drugapproved for treatment of actinic keratoses. Chemex(NASDAQ:CHMX) developed the drug and sold it to Block Drugunder a joint venture agreement in 1991. The formulation tobe tested for reversal of photo-aging of skin contains 0.25 to2.5 percent masoprocol, significantly less than the 10 percentin Actinex.

Chemex of Fort Lee, N.J., said masoprocol "exhibits anti-oxidantproperties which are expected to retard the oxidation of skincells by sunlight, a major cause of photo-aging of the skin."

The company noted that "during the development of Actinex,several clinicians noted improvement in the quality of photo-damaged skin in older patients."

There are currently no drugs on the market approved for useas an anti-wrinkling treatment. However, Chemex's head ofR&D, Atul Khandwala, noted that Ortho Pharmaceutical's anti-acne drug Retin A is used for the indication off-label. --BrendaSandburg

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