Receptech Corp. on Tuesday said that it is dropping a project toengineer a soluble interleukin-8 receptor and will focusclinical development on its IL-1 receptor and tumor necrosisfactor receptor.

"Because of the complex structure of IL-8, it would bedifficult to engineer a soluble receptor that would block theaction of IL-8," said Jason Rubin, a spokesman for ImmunexCorp. Receptech, which was formed by Seattle-based Immunexin 1989 to fund several soluble receptor projects, had hoped todevelop IL-8 to treat inflammatory diseases.

Receptech said it hopes to begin Phase I/II clinical trials thisfall of IL-1R to treat rheumatoid arthritis. The company plansto begin Phase I/II trials in the first quarter of 1992 of TNF-Rto treat septic shock and cachexia, a wasting syndrome thataffects cancer patients.

Two other programs, for IL-4 and IL-7, have been de-emphasized. Both are in animal trials. IL-4 is being developedto treat allergy, asthma and organ transplant rejection. IL-7 isbeing developed to treat arthritis, diabetes and organtransplant rejection.

Soluble receptors function by preventing molecules, such asIL-8, from reaching cell receptors by blocking the receptorsites on the molecules. -- KB

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