Carrington Laboratories Inc. on Monday said it has received anearly approval to market its acemannan immune stimulant totreat a cancer in dogs and cats.

The company also said it plans to expand clinical trials of thedrug in humans.

Acemannan is a macrophage stimulant, which prods thedisease-fighting white blood cells to release the cytokines IL-1 and tumor necrosis factor. The patented drug is a stable formof an agent isolated from the aloe vera plant.

The marketing go-ahead for pets is a conditional approvalissued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which takes intoaccount that the animal cancer, fibrosarcoma, is consideredincurable. Full approval will come after safety and efficacystudies on the drug in animals are completed.

The Irvington, Texas, company is testing the agent as anadjunct to AZT in AIDS, in a Canadian trial of 40 patients. Aninterim report on this study should be available by the firstquarter of 1992, company officials told BioWorld. An expansionof this trial will also test the drug together with the AIDSdrug ddI.

Carrington has also just filed an investigational new drugapplication for the drug's use in ulcerative colitis, and willfile an IND for its use in human cancer within the next fourweeks.

The company's stock (AMEX:CRN) closed Monday at $17.50, up25 cents. -- RF

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