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Digest

Bone Care expands patent protection of core drug offering

Bone Care International, a Middleton-based University of Wisconsin spin-off, announced Tuesday that it had received a new patent on "stabilized hydroxyvitamin D" that will extend protection of its core druc, Hectorol.

The patent, which will expire in 2021, covers the company's hormone therapy treatment for hyperparathyroidism in chronic kidney disease patients, as well as the new version of Hectorol which Bone Care is currently working to complete.

Bone Care uses biotechnology developed at the UW to make drugs that treat the side effects of chronic kidney disease, such as the overactivity of the parathyroid glands. Founded in 1987 as a research and development firm, the company moved to Middleton in January 2001.

Aside from having its Hecterol capsules and injection treatments covered by the newly-issued patent, the company will continue to develop hormone therapies for a number of serious diseases, all based on the patented vitamin D complex.

Bone Care announced in May that the Massechusetts-based Genzyne Corp. agreed to acquire the company for $600 million in cash, a deal expected to be completed in the third quarter with shareholder approval. Genzyme has still not announced whether it will be keeping on Bone Care's current employees.

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