Collaboration will focus on development of novel antibody-based anti-inflammatory drugs
Cambridge Antibody Technology (Melbourne, UK) and Immunex Corporation (Seattle) announce a broad product development collaboration committed to the joint discovery, development, marketing and sale of human antibody-based therapeutics for autoimmune and inflammatory disorders.
Under the terms of the agreement, the two companies will share equal responsibility for all research and development, and split equally any potential profits generated by product sales. Immunex will contribute two undisclosed proprietary targets, scientific and development expertise to the partnership, while CAT will contribute its proprietary human antibody phage display technology and high throughput screening capabilities to identify human antibodies.
"We are extremely pleased to be expanding our relationship with Immunex for the custom design and development of human antibody drugs," said Dr. David Chiswell, CAT Chief Executive Officer. "It is a further demonstration of CAT's commitment to share in the risks and rewards of antibody product development and to build a drug pipeline serving areas of significant unmet medical need."
CAT will have primary responsibility for the discovery and optimization of human antibodies specific to the Immunex targets. Immunex will be primarily responsible for additional pre-clinical evaluation, clinical trials and product commercialization.
"This new collaboration with CAT underscores our commitment to rapidly develop antibody based therapeutics to our validated proprietary targets. This agreement allows us to work with the skilled scientists and systems at CAT and to accelerate the development timelines on two important drug targets," said Douglas Williams, Ph.D., Immunex Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer.
In November 2000, Immunex and CAT announced that Immunex received a license from CAT to utilize its antibody library for reagent generation and target validation. Under that agreement, Immunex will also receive up to eight exclusive product options derived from its in house use of the CAT library and CAT would potentially receive clinical milestones and royalty payments on sales.
Immunex Corporation is a leading biopharmaceutical company dedicated to improving lives through immune system science innovations.
Cambridge Antibody Technology (CAT)
CAT is a UK biotechnology company using its proprietary technologies in human monoclonal antibodies for drug discovery and drug development. Based in Melbourn, 10 miles south of Cambridge, England, CAT currently employs around 220 people.
CAT has a world-leading platform technology for rapidly isolating fully human monoclonal antibodies using phage display systems. CAT has an extensive phage display antibody library, currently incorporating around 100 billion distinct antibodies. This library forms the basis for the company¹s strategy to develop a portfolio of clinical development programmes and for discovering new drug leads using functional genomics. Four human therapeutic antibodies developed by CAT are at various stages of clinical trials.
CAT has a number of license and collaborative agreements in place with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies including: Eli Lilly, Pfizer, BASF Pharma (Abbott), Genentech Inc., ICOS Corporation, Genetics Institute, Wyeth-Ayerst, Human Genome Sciences, AstraZeneca, Pharmacia Corporation, Oxford GlycoSciences, Genzyme, Zyomyx and Elan Corporation.
For more information, contact Mark Leahy of Immunex at 206-389-4363 or John Aston of Cambridge Antibody Technology +44-1763-263233.
Except for the historical information contained herein, this news release contains forward-looking statements that involve substantial risks and uncertainties. Among the factors that could cause actual results or timelines to differ materially are risks associated with research and clinical development, regulatory approvals, our supply capabilities and reliance on third-party manufacturers, product commercialization, competition, litigation and other risk factors listed from time to time in reports filed by Immunex with the SEC, including but not limited to risks described under the caption ³Important Factors That May Affect Our Business, Our Results of Operations and Our Stock Price² within our most recently filed Form 10-Q. The forward-looking statements contained in this news release represent our judgment as of the date of this release. Immunex undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statements.
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