Neose Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced Monday it is exclusivelylicensing a patent for synthesis of complex carbohydrates thatwas issued to the University of Pennsylvania.

U.S. Patent 5,180,674 was issued Jan. 19 for a process to obtainand easily use enzymes called glycosyltransferases that shouldallow economical synthesis of essentially all complexcarbohydrates found in nature.

"Others are working on processes for the synthesis of veryspecific carbohydrates," said Stephen Roth, chief scientificofficer at Neose and professor of biology (on leave) at theUniversity of Pennsylvania. "One of the most importantadvantages of our technology is that it permits us to be first inmaking a broad range of these compounds, discovering theirtherapeutic and diagnostic activity, and commercializing them."

Neose has synthesized a replica of the cell surfaceoligosaccharide to which the gastritis pathogen Helicobacterpylori binds. The compound is being developed as a potentialanti-ulcer pharmaceutical. The worldwide anti-ulcer markethad sales of $8 billion in 1992.

The private company, based in Horsham, Penn., is alsodeveloping a compound from human milk that may lower therisk of certain infections in infants for use as an additive toinfant formula. Its two other compounds under developmentare an oligosaccharide to which the P-selectin protein binds,which may be used to prevent undesired cardiovascularinflammatory effects, such as occur in reperfusion injury andrestenosis following angioplasty; and an oligosaccharide towhich the E-selectin protein binds which Neose intends todevelop to inhibit undesired inflammation.

Neose was founded in 1990 to develop, manufacture andcommercialize complex carbohydrates for health careapplications.

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