Somatogen Inc. said Thursday that it has discovered a way touse its recombinant hemoglobin as a drug delivery vehicle forsynthetic peptides.

Speaking at the Goldman, Sachs & Co. 13th Annual Health CareConference in New York, Charles Scoggin, chairman, presidentand chief executive, said the discovery could open up newmarkets for the company's technology.

Somatogen shares (NASDAQ:SMTG) gained $2 to $32.50.

The Boulder, Colo., company has discovered how to use proteinengineering to attach synthetic peptides to recombinanthemoglobin, Scoggin said. In preclinical tests, the technologysignificantly extended the pharmacological activity of thepeptides, he said.

The drug delivery system is applicable to a variety of peptides,as well as for delivering antibiotics and chemotherapeutics,according to spokeswoman Nanita Woolhiser.

Somatogen's first product, rHb1.1 recombinant hemoglobin, isin Phase I trials to replace blood lost after surgery. -- KB

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