Genetics Institute Inc. (GI) and Yamanouchi Pharmaceuticals Co.Ltd. announced Wednesday that they have formed GI-Yamanouchi European Partnership to commercialize bonegrowth products in Europe.

This is the latest extension of the original partnershipagreement between the two companies, reached in 1990, tofund the development of GI's bone growth factors, bonemorphogenic proteins (BMPs) worldwide. GI licensedworldwide marketing rights to BMPs to the partnership.

Also in 1990, GI (NASDAQ:GENIZ) of Cambridge, Mass., andYamanouchi formed GI-Yamanouchi Inc., a joint venturecompany to commercialize BMPs as well as other products inJapan.

Since then, the development partnership has licensedmarketing rights to rhBMP-2, the first of the bone marrowfactors to be in the clinic, to GI for North America and to GI-Yamanouchi for Japan.

Now, the newly formed European partnership has themarketing rights for this product in Europe. Recombinanthuman BMP-2 entered U.S. clinical trials for treating bonefractures in 1992; trials are also under way in Japan.Researchers predict that BMPs will also be useful for graftingbone, making orthopedic implants, treating periodontal diseaseand performing reconstructive surgery.

GI has retained worldwide manufacturing rights for the BMPsand will supply the respective marketing parties with productfor both clinical and commercial purposes.

The European Partnership's products will be sold anddistributed by Brocades Pharma, a wholly owned subsidiary ofYamanouchi, and Wyeth-Ayerst International Inc., theinternational pharmaceutical division of American HomeProducts, which bought 60 percent of GI in 1991.

-- Jennifer Van Brunt Senior Editor

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

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