Magainin Pharmaceuticals Inc. said Monday that it has isolatedfrom the shark the first steroidal host-defense antibiotic.

The Plymouth Meeting, Pa., company said it filed for a patentanticipates publication in a scientific journal of the discoverylater this year.

"All antibiotic host-defense systems previously discoveredhave been peptides," said Jay Moorin, Magainin's president."The discovery of this unique steroid host-defense systemcould open a new era in the development of antibiotics that cantreat human disease."

He said the company is applying its drug discovery team to thedevelopment of systemic antibiotics based on the discovery, aswell as peptide-based host-defense systems.

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