Cortech Inc. announced Monday that it has started a controlledclinical trial of its bradykinin antagonist Bradycor in patients withhantavirus associated adult respiratory distress syndrome (HAARDS).

This syndrome is also known as Four Corners disease and adultrespiratory distress syndrome of unknown etiology.

The first cases of HAARDS were reported earlier in the summer inthe Four Corners region of the Southwest, but suspected cases havebeen reported elsewhere in the U.S.

Cortech of Denver decided to initiate the clinical trials because theactivation of bradykinin (which is an inflammatory mediator) hasalready been implicated in other hantaviral diseases. Also, "a numberof patients with presumed HAARDS already have received Bradycoreither as a result of being enrolled in Cortech's (NASDAQ:CRTQ)ongoing clinical trial in patients with presumed sepsis and thesystemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) or under acompassionate use protocol filed earlier with the FDA," according toTimothy Rodell, Cortech's senior vice president of operations andproduct development.

But in that case there were no untreated patients. The current trialwill enroll up to 50 patients and will be placebo controlled andblinded.

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