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KODAK DEVELOPING DRUG BUSINESS EXPOSURE

Executive Summary

KODAK DEVELOPING DRUG BUSINESS EXPOSURE through an agreement with Morristown, N.J.-based Nova Pharmaceuticals to find possible drug applications for the photographic firm's proprietary chemicals. In a recent press release, Kodak said Nova will employ its proprietary receptor screening system "to analyze selected compounds from Kodak's 500,000-plus chemical library [and] determine if any have potential for application in the field of life sciences." The Nova venture is the latest example of Kodak's intensifying life sciences effort. Through its Life Sciences Division, the film company made investments in ICN in 1984 and Elan in December 1985 ("The Pink Sheet" Jan. 6, p. 3). Commenting on the Kodak/Nova announcement, Dr. L. J. Thomas, senior VP and director of Kodak's Life Sciences division, declared that "this agreement is part of Kodak's commitment to participate in markets broadly associated with life sciences, pharmaceuticals, and medicines." The formal agreement between Nova and Kodak covers a just-begun, one-year phase during which Nova will test "several thousand compounds" at the molecular level for "biological activity against large numbers of neurotransmitter receptors," stated David U'Prichard, PhD, Nova Scientific Advisor and Senior VP. According to U'Prichard, the 1986 screening program is seen by both companies as the initial phase of a larger R&D venture that will very likely lead to preclinical and clinical studies. Currently, U'Prichard continued, Kodak and Nova are working on "the precise formulation of second and subsequent phases." Nova's expertise in receptor site technology is also the basis for a similar drug development pact with the Institut de Recherche Chimique Appliquee (IRCHA), in which Nova will create new drugs using IRCHA's chemical library. Nova has another development and marketing agreement with Marion, as well as licensing agreements with research institutions, such as Johns Hopkins, that give the company rights to sublicense various new compounds and technologies. On Jan. 17, Nova will open its new medicinal chemistry laboratory in Baltimore. The facility, developed jointly by McCormick Properties, Inc. and the Baltimore Economic Development Corp., will accommodate 36 chemists and a chemical support staff.

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