Nova Pharmaceutical Corp. said Wednesday that it has enteredinto a three-year, $4.3 million contract with the NationalInstitute of Mental Health (NIMH) Psychotherapeutic DrugDiscovery and Development Program.

According to the agreement, the company's NovaScreendivision will provide screening services to identify new agentsfor the potential treatment of central nervous systemdisorders.

The NovaScreen system uses a series of laboratory tests todiscover bioactive compounds and to determine their potentialtherapeutic utility, the Baltimore-based company said. Thepurpose of the NIMH contract is to develop a greater depth ofinformation about selected agents believed to affect CNSfunction, particularly chemicals derived from plants or animalsto which folklore has attributed CNS effects, the company said.

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