BIOTECH FIRM SIGNS AGREEMENT WITH UNIVERSITY, DRUG MAKER

BIOTECH FIRM SIGNS AGREEMENT WITH UNIVERSITY, DRUG MAKER

RiboGene Inc., an early-stage biotechnology company, announced Monday that it has entered into an agreement with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Pharm-Eco Laboratories Inc., a Lexington, Mass.-based pharmaceutical research and development firm, to acquire and develop a novel series of antiviral and antifungal drugs.

According to the terms of the agreement, RiboGene will provide funding for a multiyear research collaboration focused on the development of promising small molecule compounds originally discovered and synthesized in the laboratories of Richard R. Tidwell, a professor at the university.The research program will be conducted by the UNC group in conjunction with RiboGene, which will be responsible for the preclinical and clinical development of the compounds, and Pharm-Eco, which will use its medicinal chemistry capabilities to develop derivatives and analogs of the compounds and perform process scale-up and manufacturing.

Pharm-Eco currently holds the license to the UNC-developed compounds.

RiboGene will be responsible for the clinical development and marketing of

drug candidates resulting from the collaboration. In addition, RiboGene will provide product royalty payments to both UNC and Pharm-Eco.