Cortech Inc. said Tuesday that it has filed an investigationalnew drug application to begin Phase I clinical trials of its CP-0127 bradykinin antagonist to treat shock.

The Denver company's compound will be targeted initially totreat shock in the systemic inflammatory response syndrome.SIRS is an umbrella term coined by the American College ofChest Physicians and the Society for Critical Care Medicine todescribe systemic inflammation. Causes include trauma, burnsand infection leading to sepsis.

Bradykinins are inflammatory pathway mediators that thebody releases following any form of tissue injury. They arenormally inactivated within seconds. But in highlyinflammatory conditions or after significant injury, bradykininrelease overwhelms the body's ability to inactivate them. Itspresence is believed to play an important role in the generationof pain, edema and shock.

CP-0127 works by occupying bradykinin receptor sites, whichare ubiquitous in the body.

In February, privately held Cortech raised $8.5 million througha research and development partnership for CP-0127. Thepartnership owns rights to five indications for the compound:shock, brain trauma, acute asthma, chronic asthma and post-operative pain. -- Karen Bernstein

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