Barring any legal objections raised before Feb. 1, 1993, theNational Institutes of Health (NIH) will grant Diatech Inc. ofLondonderry, N.H., an exclusive, royalty-bearing license to apatented peptide-synthesis process, for use in in-vivo imagingagents.

U.S. patent No. 5,066,716, issued on Nov. 19, 1991, to NIH,bears the title "Synthesis of Chloroacetyl and BromoacetylModified Peptides for the Preparation of Synthetic PeptidePolymers, Conjugated Peptides and Cyclic Peptides."

The NIH Office of Technology Transfer (OTT) signified itsintention to let Diatech commercialize the patent, for in-vivoimaging only, in an announcement in the Federal Registerearlier this month (Dec. 2).

Diatech, founded in March 1990, focuses onradiopharmaceutical imaging products for localizing tumors,infections and thrombi.

The patent describes an improved means of inserting a reactivemoiety at a specific position in a synthetic peptide, using astandard program with an automated peptide synthesizer. .

Such derivatized peptides, when conjugated to a carrierprotein, have a variety of potential commercial applications,including immunogens, vaccines and therapeutics. Usually, suchpeptide immunogens are used to obtain anti-peptideantibodies. The custom-designed peptides also have industrialuses when linked to polymers, plastics, enamels and ceramics.

-- David N. Leff Science Editor

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