Chemex Pharmaceuticals Inc. and VimRx Pharmaceuticals Inc.said Thursday that they have signed a collaborative agreementto explore the development of hypericin, VimRx's anti-viralcompound, as a therapeutic agent for dermatologicalindications.

Under the agreement, which would lead to a marketingagreement, Chemex (NASDAQ:CHMX) of Fort Lee, N.J., will beresponsible for formulation, development and clinical trialsinvolving dermatological indications. VimRx (NASDAQ:VMRX) ofStamford, Conn., will provide hypericin for these programs andtechnical support.

Hypericine has shown broad anti-viral and anti-retroviralproperties in vitro and in vivo. VimRx is developing it as atherapy for HIV and human papilloma virus and as aninactivator of viruses in blood for transfusions. The NationalInstitute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases is sponsoring aPhase I human clinical trial with hypericin in HIV-positivepatients, Chemex said.

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