The Liposome Co. has acquired rights to a pending patent onliposome-encapsulated clot-busters, a formulation that may cutthe cost of recombinant therapy for heart attacks by increasingthe efficiency of delivery of drug to the clot.

Work at the University of Oklahoma in animals has shown thatliposomal delivery of streptokinase preferentially releases thisstandard clot dissolver at the clot, and may cause lessunwanted bleeding.

"It would have to be proved in the clinic" that puttingfibrinolytics into the hollow spheres of fat could cut costs andbleeding risk, Anne M. Van Lent, senior vice president, toldBioWorld.

The Princeton, N.J., company (NASDAQ:LIPO) has yet to decidewhich formulation to use, so clinical tests would not comebefore 1993 at the earliest, Van Lent said. The company wouldseek to license any recombinant fibrinolytic chosen forliposomal packaging, she added.

Recombinant thrombolytics such as Genentech Inc.'s Activasehave run into resistance from doctors who often prefer thelower-cost streptokinase.

If liposomal thrombolytics allow recombinants to be more cost-effective, Van Lent said, a liposomal formulation wouldcomplement and perhaps expand the market for the company'sliposomal prostaglandin E1, under study as an adjunct tothrombolytic therapy.

Only 20 percent of the 1 million heart attacks in the UnitedStates annually are treated with clot dissolvers, the companyestimates.

Liposome Co. shares rose 50 cents on Thursday to $12.13.--Roberta Friedman, Ph.D.

(c) 1997 American Health Consultants. All rights reserved.