TargeTech Inc. said it has received a notice of allowance on aU.S. patent covering technology for the delivery of DNA to theliver.

The patent rights are licensed exclusively to the Meriden,Conn., company from the University of Connecticut.

"The allowed patent application protects TargeTech's coretechnology for developing gene therapy products that targetspecific cells and can be administered as traditional, injectablepharmaceuticals," said Samuel McKay, president.

The patent application covers a carrier system for DNA thatconsists of a soluble complex that binds specifically to areceptor protein found on liver cells, allowing DNA to beintroduced into cells without the use of retroviruses. Theasialoglycoprotein receptor facilitates entry of the complex intothe cell. Once inside the cell, the DNA is capable of expressing aprotein or blocking the production of a protein.

Privately held TargeTech is developing products to treatseveral liver-related genetic diseases, including hemophilia andfamilial hypercholesterolemia, as well as hepatitis B.

According to research in a rabbit model ofhypercholesterolemia, reported in the Jan. 15 issue of theJournal of Biological Chemistry, injection of the gene for thelow-density lipoprotein receptor reduced serum cholesterollevels by 25 percent to 35 percent for at least six days. -- KB

(c) 1997 American Health Consultants. All rights reserved.