One plus one plus one can occasionally equal four. That, at least, is the hope of LeukoSite Inc. and its partners Warner-Lambert and Kyowa Hakko Kogyo Co. Ltd. The partners were to announce today that they are taking two separate alliances, modifying the terms, and combining them into a single chemokine drug discovery partnership for the treatment of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.

Warner-Lambert and LKST began collaborating in 1994. Under the original deal, the pharma company had exclusive rights to small molecule antagonists of the MCP-1 receptor. The chemokine MCP-1 recruits monocytes and T cells from the bloodstream to tissues and has been implicated in the chronic inflammatory processes associated with rheumatoid arthritis and atherosclerosis.