Nova strengthens inflammation drugs

August 14, 1991|By Timothy J. Mullaney

Nova Pharmaceutical Corp. has developed new versions of its experimental anti-inflammation drugs that are 600 to 800 times more powerful than an earlier version of the same drugs, the company said yesterday.

Company scientists say that the new compounds, called bradykinin antagonists because they block the actions of peptides called bradykinin that are released when tissue in the body is inflamed, will help give patients more lasting relief from inflammation-related pain.

The earlier version of the drugs didn't work in clinical trials in which it was tested against the common cold because the compound wasn't strong enough and its effect didn't last long enough, Kira Bacon, a company spokeswoman, said.

"We can now push forward again," Ms. Bacon said. She said that Nova hasn't yet decided whether to put the new, improved bradykinin antagonists through clinical trials to treat colds. Clinical trials must be conducted before a drug can be put on the market.

But the Baltimore company said that the new compounds have been shown to be effective, in animals, at treating septic shock, arthritis and pain. In the animals, the new compounds worked for up to four hours, Nova's announcement said.

Ms. Bacon said that the older, weaker version of the bradykinin antagonist is in clinical trials testing its effectiveness against asthma. The company remains hopeful that the older drug will prove useful in treating that condition.

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