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ALPHA-BETA BETAFECTIN ANTI-INFECTIVE IND FILING

Executive Summary

ALPHA-BETA BETAFECTIN ANTI-INFECTIVE IND FILING, the company's first, is projected for August or September, Worcester, Mass.- based Alpha-Beta Technology said. The company announced June 4 that it will use $ 3 mil. raised in a private financing from Concord Partners and Advent International Corporation to "help advance the development" of the company's carbohydrate-based health care products, including Betafectin. Betafectin is being studied as a possible preventive of infection in abdominal surgery and as an adjunct to chemotherapy and radiotherapy, but Alpha-Beta has yet to select a specific indication to be submitted in the IND. The anti-infective stimulates the beta glucan receptor, increasing white blood cell activity. The company noted that the drug "may have utility to reduce the opportunistic infections in AIDS" but it is not currently being considered as an AIDS drug. Alpha-Beta's other products in late stages of development are Cholestran and Fibercel, two highly purified derivatives of a brewer's yeast beta glucan. Cholestran (originally dubbed Fibercel) has demonstrated an ability to lower cholesterol in pre- clinical studies ("The Pink Sheet" Sept. 3, T&G-11). Alpha-Beta expects to file an IND for Cholestran in the fourth quarter of this year. The beta glucan agent also has a "fat-like mouth-feel and texture," according to Alpha-Beta, which is developing a less purified version of Cholestran as a fat substitute. The name Fibercel now applies to this proposed food additive, which is in "late stage formulation trials in various food products." The company also noted that the "doses [of Fibercel] which would appear in food would not be therapeutic," and therefore believes that Fibercel would need not go through efficacy trials. Alpha-Beta's pipeline also includes Adjuvax, a vaccine adjuvant made up of glucan microspheres that stimulate the immune system and that can encapsulate a vaccine antigen for delivery into white blood cells. Adjuvax is in preclinicals and is intended for outlicensing. The company indicated that it is in the midst of negotiations with a number of vaccine producers, and hopes to license Adjuvax in mid-1992.
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