ImmunoPharmaceutics, a subsidiary of Synbiotics Corp., was toannounce today that it has solved the three-dimensional X-raycrystal structure of endothelin-1, a naturally occurring proteinthat raises blood pressure.

The structure is pharmacologically inactive and hence uselessfor drug design. But ImmunoPharmaceutics believes thediscovery validates the company's drug discovery technology.In November, the San Diego company used supercomputers todesign endothelin-1 antagonists. The company thensynthesized the antagonists and showed their activity in thelaboratory.

Several pharmaceutical and biotech companies are working todevelop endothelin antagonists. But, said Edward Maggio,president and chief executive, the intermediate size of theendothelin molecule makes it less amenable to both largemolecule and small molecule X-ray crystallography techniques.

ImmunoPharmaceutics plans to file within a year to beginclinical trials of its compounds to treat hypertension.

Synbiotics stock (NASDAQ:SBIO) rose 13 cents to $6.88 onWednesday. -- Karen Bernstein

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