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AGOURON DESIGNING ANTI-AIDS DRUGS USING IDASCA TECHNOLOGY

Executive Summary

AGOURON DESIGNING ANTI-AIDS DRUGS USING IDASCA TECHNOLOGY under a recently announced agreement with Cambridge BioScience. According to a joint Sept. 9 press release, Agouron will have the right to commercialize AIDS drugs produced by the joint effort, while Cambridge will have rights to any vaccines and diagnostic products developed. "Cambridge will apply proprietary technology in molecular biology and protein chemistry to produce and purify genetically engineered proteins known to be essential for the viability of the AIDS virus," the release states. "Agouron will determine the distinguishing three-dimensional structure of these proteins by x-ray crystallography. With the assistance of computer-aided simulation, Agouron will then design and synthesize drug molecules engineered to inactivate the AIDS proteins and to disarm the AIDS virus." The collaboration has the support of a $4.3 mil. NIH grant. The funds were awarded to a consortium of Agouron Pharmaceuticals, Cambridge BioScience and the laboratory of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Researcher William Haseltine, PhD. Agouron's drug design activities revolve around the IDASCA methodology, or inhibitor design by active site crystallographic analysis. According to a recent prospectus detailing the La Jolla, California-based firm's initial public offering, IDASCA facilitates rapid determination of a therapeutically important protein's three-dimensional structure and its interaction with a binding drug molecule ("The Pink Sheet" March 30, T&G-7).
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