WILMINGTON,PPD and its partner Syrrx have submitted an investigational new drug application for a compound that could fight type II diabetes.

The companies said Phase1 clinical trials could begin later this month.

The drug is designed to be taken orally and would be a once-a-day treatment.

Syrrx designed the drug — a dipedtidyl peptidase (DPP) IV inhibitor. Syrrx and PPD have been working on its development for more than a year. Syrrx has been working with it fomr less than three years in all.

“We believe DPP IV is an attractive, clinically validated target and think our inhibitor has the potential to be a best-in-class drug in the large and growing diabetes market,” said Stephen Kaldor, Syrrx president and chief scientific officer, in a statement.

The companies said studies of DPP IV show it helps regulate insulin levels in the body.

Other companies have conducted trials with DPP IV inhibitors.

The companies said test results indicate the compounds could be used to treat obesity, high cholesterol and other forms of metabolic syndrome.

PPD and Syrrx plan to submit an IND application for a second compound in the near future.

“The compound partnering collaboration between Syrrx’s efficient research engine and PPD’s global development expertise is working well,” said Fred Eshelman, chief executive officer of PPD, in a statement. “We look forward to implementing an aggressive development plan to progress the compound and will look for ways to collaborate on additional drug discovery targets to sustain our momentum.”

Syrrx is based in San Diego, CA.

Serologicals completes acquisition

Serologicals has completed its acquisition of Upstate Group, Inc. for $205 million. Upstate Group is a supplier of innovative cell signaling products used for life science research and drug discovery.

“This acquisition positions Serologicals as a leader in drug screening and validation services to the top pharmaceutical and biotech companies,” the company said in a statement.

Serologicals also has added Aaron Shatkin to its board of directors. Shatkin is a biotechnologist and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

PPD, Closure report earnings

PPD reported revenues of $215.8 million for the most recent quarter that ended Sept. 30. The total is 20 percent higher than one year ago. Net revenues climbed to $20.3 million, up from $12.9 million.

In Raleigh, Closure Medical reported revenues increased to $9.2 million, up from $8.9 million a year ago. Net income was $2 million, the same as in 2003. Closure recently warned that increased competition was affecting sales.

PPD: www.ppdi.com