Scientists at Magainin Pharmaceuticals Inc. have developed arecombinant process for synthesizing MSI-78, the company'santi-fungal drug being developed to treat serious infections.

According to company spokesman Scott Horwitz, Magaininannounced when it went public last December that it mightneed to consider alternative methods of producing MSI-78,assuming it is approved, because of high production costs.

"We realized that the traditional way of manufacturing thesepeptides through chemical methods may ultimately prove tooexpensive, and so decided to go with a recombinant approach,"Horwitz said.

"The ability to synthesize MSI-78 through recombinanttechnology should allow us to provide MSI-78 at a costcompetitive with other antibiotics," said Jay Moorin, presidentand chief executive officer of the Plymouth Meeting, Pa.,company (NASDAQ:MAGN).

MSI-78, Magainin's lead compound, is in Phase I human clinicaltrials, and Horwitz expects it to move into Phase II trials in the"not too distant future."

"By developing a topical product, we hope it will enable us toget to the market faster," Horwitz said.

Magainin is a biopharmaceutical company developingtherapeutic products derived from various host defensesystems for the treatment of infections and certain cancers, andwound healing. -- Michelle Slade

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