Israel's Pharmos is buying Vela Pharmaceuticals for $5 million in cash and $24.7 million in stock. Lawrenceville, NJ-based Vela has been developing medicines for diseases of the central nervous system. Once the deal is complete, the new company's lead product will be R-tofisopam, a drug that has demonstrated positive Phase II data for the treatment of diarrhea-predominant and alternating-type irritable bowel syndrome. The Pharmos' clinical pipeline will also include cannabinor, a drug candidate for the treatment of pain, inflammation and autoimmune disease. Cannabinor successfully completed a Phase I trial in January 2006 and is scheduled to begin a Phase IIa trial in the second quarter of 2006.
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