Biotech Research Laboratories said it was awarded a four-yearcontract for $450,000 from the University of North Carolina totest large numbers of plant derivatives to combat HIV.

The contract is part of a grant the university was awarded bythe National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, part ofthe National Institutes of Health.

The grant allows the company and the university to attempt toisolate and identify a variety of potentially therapeutic agents.The plants to be used include many from Asia known topossess medicinal properties. The university will attempt toselect, extract and purify potential anti-AIDS drugs, and thecompany will analyze anti-viral activity and cell toxicity andstudy drug action.

Biotech Research Labs, which has been active in HIV testingsince 1985 and infectious disease research since 1975, wasacquired by Boston Biomedica in July by Cambridge BiotechCorp.

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