Liposome Technology Inc. on Thursday said it has entered intoa collaboration with Amgen Inc. to research protein delivery byLTIZ's Stealth liposomes.

The companies are not disclosing which Amgen protein will beinvolved. "This is an exploratory agreement," said NickArvanitidis, CEO of the Menlo Park, Calif., company that isseeking to validate its Stealth technology beyond the cancerfield. The company's shares (NASDAQ:LTIZ) closed at $21.75, up$3, on Thursday.

The Stealth technology uses lipid encapsulation to deliver drugsto disease sites while limiting distribution to healthy tissues.Sustained release is another feature of the liposomes.

Amgen's financial contribution was not revealed. The ThousandOaks, Calif., company (NASDAQ:AMGN) can exercise an optionfor exclusive worldwide development and licensing of theproduct, and would pay royalties to LTIZ.

LTIZ is also working with Chiron Corp. (NASDAQ:CHIR) todeliver interleukin-2 by Stealth liposome, and with GenentechInc. (NYSE:GNE) on CD4, Arvanitidis said. The company seeks tolicense its technology to owners of proprietary proteins thatmight benefit from Stealth delivery, he said. -- RobertaFriedman, Ph.D.

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