Progress was reported Tuesday by two companies withpotential treatments for protecting injured tissues.

T Cell Sciences announced preclinical results with arecombinant protein that appears to limit damage in heartattacks, and CytRx Corp. received a patent on the use andformulation of its RheothRx copolymer in treating myocardialdamage.

Both companies expect their products to have widerapplications for other diseases, and are declining to estimatepotential market sizes.

T Cell Sciences (NASDAQ:TCEL) of Cambridge, Mass., isdeveloping its protein jointly with SmithKline Beecham plc andYamanouchi Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. Pigs treated with thehuman protein, called sCR1, had a 40 percent reduction ininfarct size after blood flow was returned to their hearts,according to data presented Tuesday by SmithKline researchersat the meeting of the International Society on Thrombosis andHaemostasis in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. By blocking thepathway by which the body normally targets damaged tissue,sCR1 may salvage cardiac tissue that would otherwise die.

The CytRx product, which is covered by eight other patents,acts as a physical lubricant, lowering blood viscosity toimprove flow.

CytRx (NASDAQ:CYTR) has licensed worldwide rights on itscopolymer RheothRx to Burroughs Wellcome Co. Burroughs paidthe Norcross, Ga., company $250,000 when it received thelicense last April. Burroughs is testing RheothRx for safetyand efficacy for a variety of diseases marked by ischemia, orlow blood flow to tissues. Phase II clinical trials in heartattack, stroke and sickle cell anemia are expected to startbefore year's end, CytRx said.

-- Roberta Friedman, Ph.D. Special to BioWorld

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