MGI Pharma Inc. has acquired exclusive worldwide rights tothree patents for the use of ribose, a five-carbon sugar, in thecritical care of cardiac patients.

One patent covers the use of MGI 330 to enhance redistributionof thalium 201, which will improve the speed, safety andaccuracy of diagnosing heart disease, said Dr. Chuck Muscoplat,executive vice president for new business. Thalium imaging isused to detect uncompromised heart tissue that may bepreserved by procedures such as coronary bypass andangioplasty.

The second patent covers the use of MGI 330 to acceleraterepletion of adenosine triphosphate in myocardial tissuesuffering from inadequate blood supply, or ischemia, and toenhance cardiac contractility in ischemic tissue, he said.

"There are approximately 1.5 million thalium imagingprocedures performed annually in the U.S., and post-surgicalcardiac ischemia occurs in heart surgery, heart attacks andangioplasty, so the number of procedures also numbers in themillions," said Muscoplat.

The diagnostic application was licensed from an undisclosedgroup of academics, Muscoplat said. The ischemia indicationwas licensed from Bioenergy Inc. of Minneapolis, he said. Theterms included cash payments and royalty-bearingdevelopment milestones, he said.

MGI Pharma plans to repeat Phase II trials for the diagnosticapplication this year. Phase II clinical trials for the ischemiaindication may not begin until 1993, Muscoplat told BioWorld.

The stock (NASDAQ:MOGN) closed at $13, up 63 cents.

-- Kris Herbst BioWorld Washington Bureau

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