Alkermes Inc. has received its first patent on its technology fortransporting compounds across the blood-brain barrier, thecompany said Thursday.

U.S. patent No. 5,112,597, issued Tuesday, covers theCambridge, Mass., company's receptor-mediated permeabilizer(RMP) technology. The claims include the use of a family ofcompounds to increase the permeability of the blood-brainbarrier when given intravenously.

Alkermes is developing RMPs to be used with therapeuticcompounds to treat infectious diseases of the central nervoussystem and brain tumors.

The company's lead compound, RMP-7, is in Phase I trials.Phase II trials are expected to begin late this year.

The patent has been licensed to Alkermes Clinical Partners L.P.,a limited partnership formed by Alkermes in April to funddevelopment of RMPs in several indications. The partnershipraised $46 million in April.

Shares of Alkermes (NASDAQ:ALKS) lost $1.38 to $11.38 onThursday.

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