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Drug Delivery Research Pact Signed : Irvine-Based Nelson Agrees to Finance 3-Year Program

March 26, 1985|JANE APPLEGATE | Times Staff Writer

Research focusing on how to deliver drugs to the brain more efficiently will be conducted under an agreement signed between Nelson Research & Development Co. of Irvine and McLean Hospital Corp. of Boston.

Nelson officials declined to disclose the value of the agreement except to say that it will be "a major research program" scheduled to last about three years. Dr. Victor E. Shashoua, an associate professor of biological chemistry, psychiatry and neuroscience at Harvard Medical School, will oversee the research program.

Under the agreement, Nelson Research, with headquarters on the UC Irvine campus, will provide financing for the research in exchange for the first right to patent whatever Shashoua's research team discovers. A major factor in the company's decision to support the work was the encouraging preliminary work done by Shashoua.

'Excellent Potential'

"We are pleased to reach this agreement with such an innovative researcher," said Dr. Eric Nelson, chairman and president of Nelson Research, in a statement. "This research program is consistent with our basic work on receptors and novel drug delivery systems and has excellent potential for the development of methods for targeting drug delivery to any specific part of the body."

Nelson said the delivery methods under study are interesting because they allow drugs to be delivered to a particular part of the brain known to be important in the treatment of a specific disease, such as schizophrenia. He said such selective drug delivery should reduce side effects and potentially reduce the dosage required for effective treatment.

Nelson Research has research agreements throughout the world. The company specializes in drug-receptor technology. It also develops a variety of pharmaceutical products that it licenses to other companies to manufacture.

For the year ended Dec. 31, Nelson Research posted a net loss of $204,000 on revenues of $3.8 million, compared with net income of $428,000 on revenues of $3.3 million in 1983.

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