AMERICAN CYANAMIC R&D AGREEMENT WITH QUADRA LOGIC TECHNOLOGY
AMERICAN CYANAMIC R&D AGREEMENT WITH QUADRA LOGIC TECHNOLOGY builds on Lederle's cancer presence with potential photodynamic therapy products developed," Vancouver, Canada-based Quadra Logic Technology (QLT) announced Jan. 13. "In conjunction with this agreement, American Cynamid has acquired an equity in QLT for $ 15 mil." The release explains that in photodynamic therapy, light-sensitive substances called prophyrins, which tend to accumulate in cancerous tissues, are intravenously administered to cancer patients. When subjected to light, the porphyrins become toxic, destroying the tumor and leaving the surrounding tissue intact. About 3,000 patients to date have been experimentally treated with photodynamic therapy for a "variety of malignancies, including lung and bladder cancer," QLT said. Advanced clinical studies of s first-generation porphyrin will resume this month under the direction of QLT and American Cyanamid at 40 centers throughout North America, according to the release. In addition, Quadra Logic is developing second and third-generation porphyrins, which are more specific and precise. "Clinical trials involving second generation pophyrins are about to begin in Canada and the U.S. on patients with forms of terminal head and neck cancers," the release notes. The Quadra Logic agreement is one of several recent R&D/equity investments for American Cyanamid in the biotechnology area. Lederle recently completed a vaccine agreement with ImClone, under which the New York City-based biotech firm will contribute delivery systems that enhance the immunity of vaccines. Lederle is funding the project and has rights to manufacture and market any vaccines developed. Meanwhile, parent American Cyanamid has acquired a minority equity position in privately held ImClone. Under earlier product development agreements, Cyanamid established equity positions in Cytogen, Techniclone and Xoma. In addition, the company is also sponsoring a monoclonal research program with the British biotech firm Celltech.
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