Anthera gets rights to anti-inflammatory program

San Francisco-based Anthera has licensed in the worldwide rights--outside Japan--to anti-inflammatory compounds developed by Shionogi and Eli Lilly. The compounds are inhibitors of phospholipase A2 (PLA2). No terms were discussed, but Anthera says it plans to begin clinical studies with the lead compound, A-001, as a possible therapy for acute chest syndrome in patients with underlying sickle cell disease. The company said studies indicate there is an increase in phospholipase A2 levels in patients with this condition. PLA2 consists of a family of enzymes upstream in the arachidonic acid pathway of inflammation, which is responsible for production of leukotrienes, oxidants and other pro-inflammatory mediators.

"Recent developments in the understanding of the biological activity of phospholipases and inflammation provide the opportunity for a renewed scientific approach with this program," said Paul F. Truex, president and CEO of Anthera.

- here's the UPI report on the deal