Xoma Corp. said Wednesday it was issued a fundamental U.S.patent covering DNA sequences and the production of humanbactericidal/permeability increasing protein (BPI) usingrecombinant technology.

Xoma (NASDAQ:XOMA) of Berkeley, Calif., said it is theexclusive licensee of the patent, No. 5,198,541, for humantherapeutic and diagnostic applications. The company isinvestigating BPI for use in the treatment of Gram-negativesepsis, acute and chronic focal infections and other possibleclinical applications.

Xoma began a Phase I study earlier this month on rBPI-23, agenetically engineered fragment of the human BPI protein,designed to assess the safety and pharmacokinetics of thecompound under an investigational new drug application filedwith the FDA.

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