Cortech Inc. announced Wednesday that it has been awarded two U.S.patents, numbers 5,214,191 and 5,216,022, covering two classes ofthe company's human neutrophil elastase inhibitors.

A third related patent application has been allowed and could issueshortly to the Denver-based company.

One of the issued patents covers Cortech's lead elastase inhibitor, CE-1037, which is licensed exclusively to Marion Merrell Dow Inc.(MMD). In early June, MMD broadened its stake in this collaborativeprogram.

Under the agreement between the two companies, Cortech ismanaging preclinical and clinical development of CE-1037, asynthetic ester that apparently inhibits the breakdown of connectivetissue in the lung, for adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS),cystic fibrosis and genetic emphysema.

Cortech (NASDAQ:CRTQ) expects to file an investigational new drug(IND) application on CE-1037 for treating ARDS by the end of thisyear, while the two additional indications, which require an aerosolform of the drug, could be ready for IND applications in 1994.

Compounds covered by the second patent represent candidates forevaluation and potential development directed toward dermal,ophthalmic and/or oropharyngeal indications.

Cortech's stock closed at $9.50 a share on Wednesday, off 50 cents. --Jennifer Van Brunt

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

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