Macronex Inc. will add boron to its peptide compounds to see ifthe boronation process increases the compounds' potency,solubility, stability and bioavailability, under a collaborativeresearch agreement with Boron Biologicals Inc.

Boron Biologicals, in turn, will have its own boron-derivedcompounds tested in Macronex's screening programs todetermine if the compounds affect the function of themacrophage, a type of white blood cell that initiates andregulates immune system responses.

Both companies are located near Research Triangle Park, N.C.;Macronex is in Morrisville and Boron Biologicals is in Raleigh.

Macronex's lead compound is MN10021, which has beenstudied in several animal models in acute and chronicinflammatory conditions. The company said it has several otherpromising peptides that have demonstrated potent anti-inflammatory activity.

Macronex's drug development is based on affecting themacrophage, the major cell in mediating inflammation. Thecompany has extensive bioassay-based screening programs toevaluate how a compound can modulate various functions ofthe macrophage, including cytokine production, growth factorproduction, chemotaxis and production of oxygenintermediates.

Boron Biologicals has tested boronated compounds in animalmodels for treatment of osteoporosis, hyperlipidemia,inflammation and as an analgesic.

The company is now screening for lead anti-inflammatory andcholesterol-lowering drugs. -- Brenda Sandburg

(c) 1997 American Health Consultants. All rights reserved.