Nova Pharmaceutical Corp. on Wednesday said it has received aU.S. patent, No. 5,079,260, for inflammation-fighting leumedincompounds. The patent covers Nova's NPC 15199, which is inclinical trials for contact dermatitis, and NPC 15669, for whichthe company filed in December to begin trials as a sepsistreatment.

The Baltimore company (NASDAQ:NOVX) expects to file anotherIND during the first quarter to test NPC 15669 in inflammatorybowel disease.

The leumedins work against inflammation by blocking theappearance of receptors on white blood cells that recognizeadhesion mediators. The adhesion mediators, proteins on thesurface of cells lining blood vessels, direct the traffic of whiteblood cells through the bloodstream to their targets.

Also on Wednesday, SKB Properties Ltd. reported that it sold500,000 Nova shares during December, reducing its stake to10.4 percent of the company. SKB, a unit of SmithKlineBeecham, will sell 200,000 additional shares as part of a publicoffering being conducted by Nova. In its filing with the SEC, SKBgave no reason for the sales.

Nova stock closed at $8.25, up 25 cents.

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