Alpha 1 Biomedicals Inc. on Monday said it has completed itsacquisition of all U.S. rights to Thymosin alpha 1 fromHoffmann-La Roche Inc.

Alpha 1 (NASDAQ:ALBM) purchased exclusive rights to thedrug from Roche in September 1990 for treatment of chronichepatitis B, lung cancer and as an adjuvant for vaccines. Itfurther acquired exclusive rights to Roche's Thymosin alpha 1patents in 21 countries last March.

Roche of Nutley, N.J., was assigned the U.S. composition ofmatter patent on the drug, No. 4,079,127, by the University ofTexas. Roche has sublicensed the patent to Alpha 1 ofWashington, D.C. The patent expires in 1995, said VincentSimmon, Alpha 1's president.

Prior to the final agreement announced Monday, Roche couldhave reclaimed Thymosin for several therapies, includingchronic hepatitis C, but now Alpha 1 has rights to all potentialindications, Simmon said.

The company agreed to pay Roche 10 percent on the first $150million in sales and 15 percent on sales over $150 million untilthe year 2000, Simmon told BioWorld. If competing productsenter the market after the patent expires, the royalty will dropto 5 percent and 7.5 percent, respectively, he said.

Alpha 1 is conducting Phase III trials of Thymosin to treatchronic hepatitis B, and in combination with alpha interferon totreat chronic hepatitis C.

Alpha 1's stock picked up 75 cents to close at $13.75 onMonday.

-- Kris Herbst BioWorld Washington Bureau

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