Zynaxis Inc. said Wednesday that it will collaborate with EliLilly and Co. to use Zynaxis' drug delivery technology todevelop drugs that reduce the rate of restenosis, or the re-narrowing of vessels after angioplasty.

Under the agreement, Lilly will make a $3 million equityinvestment in the Malvern, Pa., company, giving it a 4.3percent stake. Lilly will provide an additional $1.3 million peryear for at least two years and will have an exclusiveworldwide license to manufacture, use and sell any productsdeveloped from the collaboration in the field of vasculardisease. Zynaxis (NASDAQ:ZNXS) will receive sales royalties.

The program will be based on Zynaxis' Zyn-Linker technology,which permits retention and slow release of drugs at theangioplasty site. The partnership will focus on drugs that haveanti-thrombotic, anti-platelet and anti-proliferative activity forreducing cellular hyperplasia (abnormal increase in cells) in theblood vessels of patients with vascular disease and for reducingthrombotic complications.

Zyn-Linkers are organic compounds with lipophilic tails thatinsert themselves into the lipid portion of a cell's membrane.At the other end, they have a reactive group that permits theattachment of therapeutic compounds.

The company has been developing Zyn-Linker conjugates,which can be delivered directly to a damaged arterial wall viaa catheter during angioplasty.

Lilly formed two other cardiovascular-related biotechpartnerships last year. In May, Lilly signed a deal with CorTherapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ:CORR) to develop plateletaggregation inhibitors. In November, Lilly formed apartnership with Sphinx Pharmaceuticals Co. (NASDAQ:SPHX) todevelop drugs for cardiovascular, inflammatory and centralnervous system diseases based on Sphinx's second messengersto control protein kinase C.

In January, Zynaxis raised $22.5 million in an initial publicoffering of 2.5 million shares at $9. The stock closed at $9.13 onWednesday, down 13 cents. --Karen Bernstein

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