Interneuron Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:IPIC) announcedthat it has licensed exclusive rights in the U.S. and Canada toCDP-choline from the Spanish pharmaceutical company GrupoFerrer.

CDP-choline, or cytidil diphosphocholine, is currently in earlyclinical tests in the U.S. for treating patients recovering fromhead trauma. These follow on the more than 40 clinical studiesworldwide on the compound for treating head trauma as wellas stroke, cerebral insufficiency, senile dementia and organicbrain syndrome.

The U.S. pilot trials to evaluate CDP-choline are being sponsoredby Grupo Ferrer, said William Boni, Interneuron's director ofcorporate communications. Investigators from MIT and theUniversity of Texas are conducting the U.S. studies. Most of thenon-U.S. clinical studies have been conducted by Grupo Ferreras well, Boni told BioWorld.

"The rationale for using CDP-choline in stroke or brain traumapatients is based upon its ability, as shown in animals, toincrease the production of phosphatides, major components ofbrain membranes. Damaged brain cells need to manufacturelarge quantities of membrane material to support the regrowthof their axons and nerve terminals," explained RichardWurtman, a professor of neuroscience at MIT andInterneuron's scientific founder.

In fact, "much of the basic research on CDP came out ofWurtman's lab at MIT before Interneuron was founded [1988],"commented Boni.

CDP-choline has already been approved for marketing in Japan,France, Switzerland and Spain. Interneuron, of Lexington,Mass., plans to submit an investigational new drug application(IND) in the U.S. in the first half of 1993, according to companypresident and chief executive officer Charles Casamento.

-- Jennifer Van Brunt Senior Editor

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

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