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 DENVER, Jan. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Cortech, Inc.'s (NASDAQ: CRTQ) 1993 highlights include initiation of, or protocol filings for, five Phase II trials for its lead product candidate, Bradycor(TM); announcement of a potential indication for treatment with its proprietary, antigen- specific immunomodulator technology; and completion of a secondary offering that raised $38 million.
 Cortech began enrolling patients in a Phase II Sepsis study in January 1993. Cortech has since filed amendments to its Bradycor Investigational New Drug application (IND) to initiate Phase II trials in head trauma, burns, hantavirus and multiple trauma. An amendment for a sixth indication, pancreatitis, is expected to be filed shortly.
 The company also prospectively added a risk model based on the APACHE(TM) III data base to its sepsis trial. This inclusion is intended to allow Cortech to make risk adjustments in its evaluation of trial data to better 1) isolate Bradycor's effects within heterogeneous populations, 2) determine what patients might best benefit from the treatment and 3) design its Phase III trials.
 Enrollment in the Phase II SIRS/sepis trial, by far Cortech's largest with 500 patients, is expected to be completed during the first quarter of 1994, with a data announcement presently anticipated sometime in the second quarter.
 SMX Allergy Treatment
 Cortech holds exclusive license rights to a proprietary model that describes how the human immune system recognizes and reacts to antigens. Using the model, the company has synthesized molecules that block the immune response to sulfamethoxazole (SMX) in sensitized mice. Product development currently is in the preclinical phase for treating AIDS patients' allergy to sulfamethoxazole. The company anticipates selecting a lead compound in the first quarter and filing an IND in 1994.
 Elastase Inhibitors
 Since 1987, Cortech and Marion Merrell Dow Inc. (MMD) have been working together to advance Cortech's neutrophil elastase inhibitor project. In 1993, the companies broadened potential disease targets for CE-1037, Cortech's lead compound, to include cystic fibrosis and genetic emphysema in addition to adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Cortech anticipates managing the preclinical and clinical programs in the three indications and filing an IND in the first quarter of 1994 to initiate clinical trials for ARDS.
 Although CE-1037 and all the compounds covered by its patent remain exclusively licensed to MMD, MMD has returned to Cortech licensed rights to other elastase inhibitor compounds outside the specific patent covering CE-1037. In order to maximize its development of Bradycor and the SMX allergy treatment, Cortech has decided to discontinue or significantly reduce at this time its internal research into these additional elastase inhibitor compounds as well as second-generation inhibitors. No employees will be laid off as a result of this action, and Cortech may make the compounds available for out-licensing.
 Other Research
 Cortech is conducting an active research and development program of second-generation bradykinin antagonists as well as other applications of the antigen-specific immunomodulator technology.
 In November, Cortech completed a secondary offering of 2,702,500 shares of common stock, which included an exercise of the underwriters' over-allotment option to purchase an additional 352,500 shares at $15 per share. The offering netted the company approximately $38 million. Cortech's cash and short-term investments totaled approximately $65 million at Dec. 31, 1993.
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 /CONTACT: David K. Crossen, president and chief executive officer of Cortech, 303-650-1200/

CO: Cortech, Inc. ST: Colorado IN: MTC SU:

LV -- NYYFNS4 -- 9584 01/06/94 06:49 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 6, 1994

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