Telor Ophthalmic Pharmaceuticals announced that since itsTekron (ethacrynic acid) caused eye irritation in a Phase IIastudy, the company will pursue clinical development of either anew formulation of Tekron or an analog of the compound.

The drug is meant to control intraocular pressure that occurswith glaucoma by increasing fluid outflow from the eye. ThePhase IIa trial involved approximately 40 patients whoreceived a topical, once-a-day, 1.5 percent formulation ofethacrynic acid. This dose is 1,000 times higher than Telor'sXarano product, which consists of the same ethacrynic acidactive ingredient. Telor Inc. (NASDAQ:TELR) president and chiefexecutive officer Stephen Riggi noted that Xarano isadministered directly into the anterior chamber of the eyeafter cataract surgery and thus has no contact with the cornea.The Tekron study will not effect the ongoing Phase III trial ofXarano, the Woburn, Mass., firm said.

"We believe we know what portion of the (ethacrynic acid)molecule causes eye irritation" and that "one can modify thecompound to either mask or enhance" that portion, Riggi toldBioWorld. He noted that the company will decide within thenext couple of months whether to change the currentformulation by adding an ingredient to mask or preventburning and stinging, or to pursue one of the analogs it now hasin preclinicals.

Riggi said "the results of recent preclinical studies in tissueculture and in animals using ethacrynic acid or analogscontinues to support the belief that the administration of thisclass of compounds will increase fluid outflow from the eye andreduce intraocular pressure."-- Brenda Sandburg

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