Organogenesis Inc. (ASE:ORG) reported Wednesday that its mostrecent milestone payment from Eli Lilly and Co. on its productfor replacing human arteries has been postponed.

This mirrors a delay in the preclinical evaluation of theproduct, Graftartery, which needed some modifications "todemonstrate extended graft potency in animal trials," explainedThomas Tully, Organogenesis' president and chief operatingofficer. Lilly and Organogenesis have since "made the new andimproved product for trials," Jennifer Pierce, Organogenesis'director of corporate communications, told BioWorld. "Thisshould get us to our milestone next spring." She predicted thatLilly should still be able to file an investigational deviceexemption (IDE) with the FDA by late 1993.

Graftartery, is a biological replacement for small arteries that ismanufactured from dense fibrillar collagen. It's intended toserve as a scaffolding for regeneration of the body's own cells.

The Canton, Mass., tissue engineering company's agreementwith Lilly dates back to 1987. So far, Lilly has poured about$16.2 million into the R&D program and is obligated to provideanother $2.1 million -- as long as the milestones are met.

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