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Pharmacopeia, Texas Biotechnology Agree to Seek Drug Candidates

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PRINCETON, NJ--Pharmacopeia here has entered into a collaborative agreement with Texas Biotechnology in Houston whereby its combinatorial chemistry library of 3.3 million small-molecule compounds will be used to help identify drug candidates for vascular endothelium disease.

Under the agreement, the two firms will share ownership rights to any active lead compounds discovered and may share any revenues upon commercialization of the compounds. A Pharmacopeia spokeswoman declined to disclose financial terms of the deal, saying details are still being finalized.

The deal combines Texas Biotechnology's abilities in computer-aided drug design with Pharmacopeia's combinatorial chemistry expertise, according to Anthony McKinney, associate director of marketing and development at Texas Biotechnology.

The 15 people who work in bioinformatics at Pharmacopeia use ECLiPS, its proprietary tagging technology, to sequence 100,000 compounds a month, the spokeswoman said. Within the next two years, when the small-molecule library is expected to contain almost 6 million compounds, the company hopes to reach agreements with other companies for use of the database to evaluate potential therapeutic compounds, she added.

Pharmacopeia is the fifth company to align with Texas Biotechnology, McKinney said. Its last alliance was reached with SmithKline Beecham in August, to develop an anticoagulant. Pharmacopeia has alliances with seven pharmaceutical companies and six other biotech firms besides Texas Biotechnology.

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