Cor Therapeutics Inc. and Eli Lilly and Co. announced Tuesdaythat they have expanded their collaboration to developcardiovascular products based on platelet aggregationinhibitors.

The new agreement provides for joint research, developmentand commercialization in North America, Europe and Japan ofall intravenous and oral products resulting from thecollaboration. The companies will jointly conduct and fund theresearch, and the research support previously provided to Corby Lilly will terminate.

The original four-year agreement between the two companies,reached in May 1991, provided for Lilly to fund certainresearch efforts to the tune of at least $1.4 million per year forat least two years. Lilly also purchased $4 million of Cor's seriesD preferred stock, giving it about 6 percent equity in thecompany.

Under the new agreement, Cor (NASDAQ:CORR) will have theoption to participate in the development of any compoundsthat the collaborators decide to pursue. The South SanFrancisco, Calif., company will also share the development costsof such products, co-promote them in all major world marketsand share the profits with Lilly. Cor will receive royalties onsales for products and geographical markets where thecompany decides not to participate.

The new agreement specifically excludes Cor's lead product,Integrelin, to which Lilly originally had the rights of firstrefusal for product development. Cor recently completed PhaseII clinical trials on Integrelin, which is a highly specific andrapidly reversible inhibitor of the glycoprotein GPIIb/IIIa, thereceptor that mediates platelet aggregation, in two differentindications. One of those was used for treating unstable angina;the other for treating the incidence of clinical events followingcoronary angioplasty.

That Cor has retained all development rights to Integrelin isimportant to the company, said Laura Brege, chief financialofficer, but equally important is the restructuring of rights tothe platelet aggregation inhibitors (PAI). "We like how theresearch program has been going," Brege told BioWorld. "We'vefound both peptide and small molecule leads. If they come tosomething, Cor will have co-promotion rights to an intravenousor orally available PAI agent. We only had small royalty rightsbefore."

Cor's stock closed Tuesday at $15.75 a share, up 25 cents.

-- Jennifer Van Brunt Senior Editor

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