G.D. Searle & Co. has licensed an osmotic drug delivery systemfrom Alza Corp. and is using it to develop an enhancedformulation of Calan SR, a calcium channel blocker forhypertension.

The OROS technology developed by Alza (AMEX:AZA) of PaloAlto, Calif., releases drugs into the gastrointestinal tract.

The enhanced Searle product "is expected to be the firstcardiovascular drug with dosing timed to the early morning,"according to Searle. The company expects to start clinicaltrials with angina and hypertension patients within six monthsand to have a commercial product on the market by the mid-1990s.

Searle, located in Skokie, Ill., introduced Calan SR in 1986 foruse in mild to moderate hypertension; 1990 sales were $432million.

Terms of the deal weren't disclosed. -- Steve Usdin

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