More MS news articles for April 2002

Abgenix and Diabetogen Sign Second Agreement to Develop Antibody Therapy Against Autoimmune Disease

Apr 15, 2002
Business Wire
Health & Medical Writers
FREMONT, Calif. & LONDON, Ontario

Abgenix, Inc. (Nasdaq:ABGX), an antibody-based biopharmaceutical company, and Diabetogen Biosciences, Inc., a privately-held biotechnology company, announced today the execution of a research collaboration, option and license agreement to discover and develop a fully human monoclonal antibody therapy against an undisclosed antigen for the treatment of autoimmune disease.

This agreement represents a second collaboration between the companies and is independent of the prior agreement executed in March 2001. Under the terms of the second collaboration, Abgenix will use its XenoMouse(TM) technology to generate fully human antibodies against the new antigen supplied by Diabetogen.

Abgenix will receive an upfront research license fee, and could receive additional license and milestone payments, and royalties on any future product sales by Diabetogen. Diabetogen will be responsible for product development, manufacturing and commercialization of any product developed through the collaboration.

"Abgenix is excited to expand its relationship with Diabetogen," stated R. Scott Greer, chairman and CEO of Abgenix. "Diabetogen is the 12th collaborator to expand their access to our XenoMouse technology." "Abgenix has proven to be a valued partner for Diabetogen," remarked William A. McGinnis, president and CEO of Diabetogen.

"We look forward to this expanded relationship." Autoimmune diseases are a broad category of clinical indications that include Type I diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, myasthenia gravis, etc. These conditions are caused when the human body fails to recognize its own tissues and attacks them through the immune system.

In general, patients suffering from autoimmune disease are diagnosed using antibodies and activated immune cells against the relevant human tissue or organ.

Abgenix's proprietary XenoMouse(TM) is a transgenic mouse strain possessing an immune system in which the mouse antibody-producing genes have been inactivated and functionally replaced by most of the human antibody-producing genes. Upon immunization, XenoMouse generates fully human, high-affinity monoclonal antibodies that bind with high specificity to antigens of diverse structures, including human antigens.

Within two to four months, XenoMouse produces multiple antibodies from which to choose an optimal candidate for development.

Abgenix is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of human therapeutic antibodies. The company's technology platform, which includes XenoMouse(R) and XenoMax(TM) technologies, enables the rapid generation and selection of high affinity, fully human antibody product candidates to a variety of disease targets.

Abgenix leverages its leadership position in human antibody technology by building a diversified product portfolio through the development of its own internal proprietary products and through the establishment of licensing arrangements with multiple pharmaceutical, biotechnology and genomics companies.

Abgenix's proprietary products are currently in clinical trials for the treatment of cancer and inflammatory diseases.

For more information on Abgenix, visit the company's website at .

Diabetogen Biosciences Inc. is a privately held biotechnology company that discovers and designs new drugs for the treatment of autoimmune diseases. Its initial programs focus on therapeutics for the treatment, prevention and reversal of Type I (insulin-dependent) diabetes.

To date, Diabetogen has been financed by two rounds of venture capital investment, while a subsequent third round is anticipated to close in 2003. The company has the in-house expertise and capability to identify candidate therapeutics, determine their relevance to autoimmune disease and evaluate them for clinical trials.

Diabetogen's aggressive business development strategy has led to exclusive licenses to leading proprietary compounds regulating different stages of autoimmunity.

For more information on Diabetogen, visit the company's website at .

Statements made in this press release about Abgenix's technologies, product development activities and collaborative arrangements other than statements of historical fact, are forward looking statements and are subject to a number of uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the statements made, including risks associated with the success of clinical trials, the progress of research and development programs, the regulatory approval process, competitive products, future capital requirements and the extent and breadth of Abgenix's patent portfolio.

Please see Abgenix's public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission for information about risks that may affect Abgenix.

Abgenix, Inc. - Ina Cu, 510/608-4662
Diabetogen BioSciences Inc. - William McGinnis, 519/858-5105

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