The Liposome Co. Inc.'s TLC C-53, a liposome-encapsulatedprostaglandin E1, appears to be active in animal models ofadult respiratory distress syndrome and heart attack, thecompany said Monday.

Researchers from the University of Colorado and the Universityof Texas Medical School presented the data in Baltimore lastweekend at the annual meeting of the American Society ofClinical Investigation and the American Federation for ClinicalResearch.

The company (NASDAQ:LIPO) said the drug is believed to beable to inactivate neutrophils, platelets and endothelial cells,and to prevent them from sticking together.

ARDS, which kills more than 100,000 people annually in theU.S., is characterized by the filling of the lungs with fluid thatleaks out of injured capillaries. Fifty percent to 60 percent ofpatients die. There is no effective drug treatment.

In the University of Colorado study, investigators compared theeffectiveness of TLC C-53 with free prostaglandin E1 indecreasing the neutrophil activation and migration that appearto cause ARDS. The drug reduced lung leak in rats by 70percent to 86 percent. Free PGE1 or empty liposomes producedno effect.

The University of Texas study simulated heart attacks in dogs.Compared with an inactive control, TLC C-53 significantlyreduced the amount of heart attack tissue that remainedoxygen-deprived and reduced the extent of heart damage, theinvestigators reported.

The Princeton, N.J., company plans to begin this year Phase Iclinical trials in healthy volunteers. Liposome plans to conducttrials for indications including ARDS, heart attack, septic shockand angioplasty. Its stock closed Monday at $12.13, up 25cents. -- Karen Bernstein

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