InKine Pharmaceutical Co. is developing an oral compound, CBP 1011, for the treatment of immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) [Hematrol] and for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disorders, ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease (Colirest). This profile has been selected from R&D Insight, a pharmaceutical intelligence database produced by Adis International Ltd. CBP 1011 or medroxyprogesterone, is a progesterone agonist and inhibits pro-inflammatory mediators such as interleukin-6 and tumour necrosis factor (TNF). CBP 1011 was originally developed by CorBec Pharmaceuticals, which in 1997 was aquired by Panax and then intergrated into InKine Pharmaceuticals. According to a company spokesperson, InKline is pursuing outlicensing opportunities for Hematrol since the company's current commercial focus is on gastrointestinal products. In June 2000, InKine announced the completion of a study comparing the bioavailability of a commercially viable tablet formulation of CBP 1011 to the original capsule formulation that is currently being used in the company's phase III studies in patients with idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura. Preliminary results from this study indicate that the bioavailability of the tablet formulation does not differ significantly from that of the capsule formulation. The trial enrolled ITP patients (i) who are HIV positive, (ii) who are chronic ITP sufferers despite having had a splenectomy, (iii) who are older, or (iv) who have less severe thrombocytopenia. In preclinical trials, CBP 1011 was shown to decrease lymphocyte infiltration into the bowel compared with the control. Studies also show that it possibly offers safety benefits over steroid therapies. In June 2001, InKine commenced enrolment for a pivotal phase III trial in the treatment of Crohn's disease. This randomised, double-blind trial will enrol approximately 250 patients and will compare two doses of CBP 1011 (400 and 1000mg) with placebo. In April 2003, the US Patent and Trademark Office granted InKine Pharmaceutical a 'Notice of Allowance' for the 'Method of Treating Inflammatory Conditions with Progesterone or Progesterone Analogs'. This patent for medroxyprogesterone (Colirest) provides InKine patent protection for the use of Colirest in treating patients with Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, proctitis, microscopic colitis, allergic eosinophilic gastroenteritis, food allergies, drug-induced oesophagitis, coeliac disease, recurrent polyps and haemorrhoids. The patent protection also covers Colirest in a variety of delivery forms such as tablet, enema, suppository, foam, gel, ointment and suspension.