MacroChem to Develop

Drug Delivery SystemWOBURN, Mass. - MacroChem Corp. announced the signing of a joint research agreement with Boston University to develop a specialized iontophoretic transdermal delivery system for drugs and polypeptides.

Iontophoresis is a method of delivering drugs through the skin, transdermally, using electrical currents.

MacroChem is engaged in research, development and commercialization of pharmaceuticals, drug-delivery systems, medical devices, dental products and performance polymers for industry. The company has exclusive rights to a large number of U.S. and foreign patents related to its research thrust.

IDEC Partnership

Plans Cancer Research

LA JOLLA, Calif. - IDEC Pharmaceuticals Corp. announced that it has formed an $11.5 million research and development partnership with four groups sponsored by the investment firm Merrill Lynch and a fifth sponsored by Morgan Stanley.

The partnership intends to complete the development of IDEC's technology for treating certain cancers of the immune system and to commercialize the resulting therapies.

The agreement covers IDEC's research in treating B-cell lyphomas and leukemias, which affect more than 450,000 people in the United States, Europe and Japan.

Under the terms of the agreement, four partnerships sponsored by Merrill Lynch Capital Markets, including ML Technology Ventures Limited Partnership, will be joined by Morgan Stanley Research Ventures Limited Partnership to fund research over a four-year period.

IDEC Pharmaceuticals holds an exclusive option to enter a joint venture with its funding partners to commercialize the resulting therapies in the United States. The company also retains the option to purchase its partners' interest in the joint venture, and the right to seek foreign partners for the commercialization of the technology.

Japanese Panel Urges

Chlorofluorocarbon Rules

TOKYO - Japan should regulate domestic production and use of chlorofluorocarb ons, or CFCs, in an international effort to preserve the earth's ozone layer, a panel to the Japanese environment agency chief recommended.

A 21-member panel of environmental experts, headed by Masatoshi Tachi, professor emeritus of Gifu University, also recommended that Japan should implement an international promise made in the 1987 Montreal protocol, calling for countries using fluorocarbons to cut usage in half by 1999.

Japan produces about 10 percent of the total fluorocarbons in the world. Fluorocarbons are used in refrigerants, in aerosol cans as propellants, and in the manufacturing of semiconductor chips. Japanese dependance on CFCs for the chip industry led to a sticking point in the Montreal debate, U.S. sources said.