NATURAL PRODUCTS GETS GRANT TO STUDY RECEPTORSNatural Product Sciences Inc. of Salt Lake City has beenawarded a Phase I small business innovation research grantfrom the National Institutes of Health to continue research ona class of newly discovered calcium receptors.
NPS is researching lead compounds to identify drugs that couldinteract with extracellular calcium receptors, which enablecertain cells to respond to changes in the concentration ofcalcium outside the cell. The receptors may become targets fordrugs to treat or prevent various bone and mineral-relateddisorders, such as osteoporosis and hypertension.
NPS, which is privately held, identifies and developscompounds from marine and terrestrial natural products.
ONCOLOGY GROUP TO TEST PHOTOFRIN
Quadra Logic Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: QLTIF) of Vancouver,British Columbia, announced Tuesday that the SouthwestOncology Group (SWOG) will conduct clinical studies to testthe ability of QLT's Photofrin to treat bladder cancer. TheNational Cancer Institute-approved trial of 100 bladder cancerpatients will be sponsored by QLT and American Cyanamid.Photofrin is a light-activated compound that QLT developed totarget and destroy cancer cells. SWOG supervises cooperativetrials and currently has 2,800 participant physicians.
t-PA DISPUTE HURTS GENZYME STOCK
Genzyme Corp. stock Monday fell $1, to $37.25, after thecompany said Toyobo Co. Ltd., its Japanese licensee forPlasminer tissue plasminogen activator, remained in anongoing patent dispute with Genentech Inc.
Toyobo last week announced that it had received marketingapproval from Japanese authorities and estimated that saleswould reach $29 million in its first year. A Genzymespokeswoman on Monday estimated the Japanese t-PA marketat $350 million. The Cambridge, Mass., company said it has notfactored Japanese royalties into its earnings forecasts.
Genentech of South San Francisco, Calif., which has the onlyU.S. patent for t-PA, and Toyobo have disputed ToyoboLs rightto manufacture and sell Plasminer since 1987. Genzyme(NASDAQ:GENZ) said it could not predict when the issue wouldbe resolved, but said Toyobo said it believes its t-PA is notcovered by the claims of GenentechLs Japanese patent.
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