Lidak Pharmaceuticals has received a Phase I small businessinnovation research grant from the National Institutes ofHealth to develop its assay of free fatty acids in blood andtissue.

The La Jolla, Calif., company (NASDAQ:LDAKA) will use the$50,000 grant to fine-tune the test as a clinical assay, saidDr. David Katz, chairman and chief executive officer. Theassay, now marketed by Molecular Probes Inc., is already usedas a research tool.

The test directly and rapidly measures unbound fatty acids,levels of which are elevated in cancer, diabetes and severalother diseases. Use of the test to screen for these diseaseswould be pursued under a Phase II grant, Katz said.

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