Cortech Inc. announced that it has initiated preclinicaldevelopment of a series of compounds to treat allergy tosulfamethoxazole (SMX) in AIDS patients. The company, whichis based in Denver, Colo., recently filed a U.S. patent applicationcovering these compounds and their use.

SMX, in combination with another antimicrobial, trimethoprim,is the first-line therapy for both prevention and treatment ofPneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP), a prevalent infectiouscomplication in AIDS patients. But as many as 60 percent ofpatients receiving SMX/TMP therapy experience adversereactions to the SMX component.

Cortech (NASDAQ:CRTQ) isusing its antigen-specific immunomodulation technology todevelop these compounds. The company has already evaluateda series of compounds that have been shown to blockantibodies to SMX in animal models, and expects to select alead compound to advance into toxicity testing shortly.

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