The Liposome Company Inc. (TLC) announced Wednesday thatit reacquired certain geographical rights to its liposomalprostaglandin products granted to Taisho Pharmaceutical Co.Ltd of Tokyo in a 1987 agreement.
Under a restructured agreement, TLC (NASDAQ:LIPO) ofPrinceton, N.J., will retain rights to liposomal PGE 1 in NorthAmerica and reacquire rights previously granted to Taisho inthe rest of the world. Taisho will receive a royalty on sales andan undisclosed number of shares of common stock of TLC aspart of the new agreement.
According to Ed Silverman, TLC's vice president of businessdevelopment and strategic planning, Taisho's initial interest inTLC's product was as a vasodilator for a number of diseasesfound only in the Far East.
Silverman said TLC has since discovered that the drug mayhave a number of other applications, including acuteinflammatory and vaso-occlusive diseases such as ARDS (adultrespiratory distress syndrome), inflammatory responsesyndrome, acute myocardial infarction and prevention ofrestenosis after angioplasty.
"As TLC was farthest along developing liposomal PGE 1 in theseapplications, it made sense for us to handle the drugworldwide," said Silverman.
He added that the purchase in June of a 55,000-square-footmanufacturing facility in Indianapolis for producing liposomalproducts also contributed to the decision to consolidate theprogram under TLC's roof.
TLC C-53, the company's liposomal PGE 1 product and its fourthdrug in Phase I clinical trials, is believed to be able toinactivate neutrophils, platelets and endothelial cells -- cellsthat circulate in the blood -- to prevent them from stickingtogether, an event that causes a series of cellular andbiochemical reactions that may lead to inflammation of tissueand organs.
By preventing neutrophil activation and migration, injury maybe reduced, and if the drug can prevent platelet aggregation, itmay be useful in treating vaso-occlusive diseases, according tothe company. Silverman could not predict when TLC expects tocomplete Phase I trials.
The Liposome Company's stock was off 63 cents a share onWednesday to $14.75.
-- Michelle Slade Associate Editor
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