T Cell Sciences Inc. has reported data showing its leadtherapeutic product reduces tissue injury in animal models ofinflammation.

The compound, soluble CR1, limited tissue injury by reducingneutrophil content in inflamed areas by at least 68 percent inthe animal models studied.

sCR1 is a recombinant version of a human regulatory protein ofthe complement system, a host defense mechanism made up ofseveral proteins that circulate in the blood. Under certaincircumstances, the complement cascade can damage healthytissue. sCR1 acts at an early stage of the complement pathwayto depress complement-mediated inflammatory signals.

Possible uses of sCR1 include the treatment of adult respiratorydistress syndrome (ARDS), complications of cardiopulmonarybypass, and renal disease.

T Cell shares (NASDAQ:TCEL) closed Wednesday at $11, up 25cents.

Company scientists and colleagues from the University ofMichigan Medical School reported in the current Journal ofImmunology that rats treated with sCR1 experienced levels ofneutrophil activation only 20 percent that of control animals.

In models of ARDS, lung vascular permeability was reduced by67 percent and hemorrhage by 73 percent. The compound alsoreduced skin injury and lung injury in burn models.

The Cambridge, Mass., company is conducting preclinicaldevelopment, and corporate partner SmithKline Beecham plcwill conduct clinical trials of the compound. SmithKline hasexclusive worldwide rights to the drug, and T Cell will receive"double-digit" royalties, said company spokeswoman SusanPrimrose. Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. has co-marketing rights in Japan.

The companies plan to submit an investigational new drugapplication this summer for the first indication, burn patientswho have or at risk for ARDS, said T Cell researcher Dr. AlfredRudolph. -- Karen Bernstein

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