Marion Merrell Dow Inc. has extended for two years a strategicpartnership agreement with Gensia Pharmaceuticals Inc. todevelop products for cardiovascular and cerebrovasculardiseases, Gensia announced Thursday.

MMD will make a $5 million equity investment in the San Diegocompany, bringing the total invested under the agreement to$20 million and giving MMD about 14 percent of Gensia's stock(NASDAQ:GNSA).

The agreement is targeted at the research and development oforally active adenosine regulating agent (ARA) compounds. MMDbegan clinical development of an orally active ARA, GP-1-468-3, in August.

Under the agreement, Gensia will conduct basic research andpreclinical development of ARAs for treatment ofcardiovascular and cardiocerebral diseases. MMDI has anexclusive license to an orally active compound developed byGensia for these diseases and is responsible for clinicaldevelopment, regulatory filings, manufacturing and marketingin the United States, Europe and other countries.

The stock closed at $34.50, up $1, on Thursday. --Steve Usdin

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