ALZA SEEKS NDA FOR NICOTINE TRANSDERMALNicotine-addicted smokers will have a new way to kick thehabit if federal regulators approve Alza Corp.'s nicotinetransdermal system.

The Palo Alto, Calif., company, which develops adhesivebandage-like systems that deliver drugs directly through theskin, said its technology can be used for "smoking cessationtherapy."

Dr. Jane E. Shaw, Alza president and chief operating officer, onTuesday said the company had filed a New Drug Applicationwith the Food and Drug Administration for marketing approvalof its product, called Nicoderm.

Nicoderm delivers controlled amounts of nicotine into thebloodstream to reduce the craving for cigarettes. The product,which is replaced daily, is used under a doctor's supervision.

Nicoderm was developed jointly with Marion Merrell Dow ofKansas City, Mo. Upon FDA approval, Alza (AMEX:AZA) willmanufacture Nicoderm and receive royalties from MerrellDow's worldwide sales.


Interferon Sciences Inc. and Hoffmann-La Roche Inc. havebroadened the terms of Interferon's license to Roche's patenton interferon alfa-n3. Under the revised agreement, Interferonhas the right to market the natural interferon, trade namedAlferon N Injection, upon Food and Drug Administrationapproval.

The agreement solves several problems for Interferon, whichhad been in litigation with Schering-Plough Corp. over the useof interferon. Because Roche and Schering have cross-licensedtheir products, there will no longer be a legal issue, saidStanley G. Schutzbank, executive vice president at Interferon.Roche's product will also meet FDA requests that Interferon usea 95-percent pure product in its clinical trials.

The missing piece for Interferon is still funding, saidSchutzbank. Interferon, based in New Brunswick, N.J., is lookingfor an equity investor or a marketing partner.

Interferon plans to conduct Phase II clinical trials of Alferon inpatients who become resistant to recombinant interferontherapy.


Pharmacia LKB Biotechnology AB (Pharmacia Biosystems) ofPiscataway, N.J., announced on Tuesday that it has acquiredkey antibody purification technology from Genex Corp. ofGaithersburg, Md. The acquisition terms were not revealed.

The purchased technology consists of Genex's Protein Gbusiness. Protein G is a bacterial protein that binds toantibodies. It is very useful in the purification ofimmunoglobulin G antibodies, including those used in antibody-based diagnostic tests and immunotherapeutics.

Pharmacia develops and markets affinity chromatographyproducts to purify biotechnology-derived products such asantibodies and hormones.

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