First Disease Target Identified
Copenhagen, Denmark and Nottingham, UK – October 9, 2001 – Genmab A/S (CSE: GEN and Neuer Markt: GE9D) and Scancell, Ltd., a privately held biotechnology company, announced today that they will collaborate to create and develop fully human antibodies to cancer targets identified by Scancell. The first antibody product will target Lewisy/b, a target that is over-expressed on breast, lung, colon and ovarian cancers. Under the terms of the agreement, the two companies will share equally in the development costs and commercial rights of antibody products they co-develop.
Genmab and Scancell will immediately begin the creation and development of a fully human antibody against Lewisy/b.
Lewisy/b is a promising cancer target on the basis of extensive pre-clinical studies conducted by Scancell and other scientists. Mouse antibodies recognizing the combined Lewisy/b antigen have induced tumor cell death and inhibited growth of various tumor cell lines. A synergistic effect on tumor cell death was seen with conventional chemotherapeutics like cisplatin and 5-fluorouracil. In animal studies, tumor growth was inhibited by anti-Lewisy/b antibodies alone, or in combination with 5-fluorouracil.
It is anticipated that a fully human anti-Lewisy/b antibody will show effect as an anti-tumor mono-therapeutic agent, and may synergize with chemotherapy or radiotherapy. It could also be used to target drugs, toxins or radio-isotopes to tumors.
"The Scancell partnership is off to a great start, with the plans for the new Lewisy/b antibody," said Lisa N. Drakeman, Ph. D., Chief Executive Officer of Genmab. "I am very pleased to be working with Scancell and look forward to a very productive relationship."
"We are delighted to have forged this important alliance with Genmab." said Lindy Durrant PhD, Chief Executive Officer of Scancell. "The combination of Scancell's Cancer Target Discovery Programme with Genmab's Human Monoclonal Antibody Technology offers exciting opportunities to fast-track antibody therapeutics into the clinic."
Genmab A/S is a biotechnology company that creates and develops fully human antibodies for the treatment of life-threatening and debilitating diseases. Genmab has multiple products in development to treat cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory conditions, and intends to assemble a broad portfolio of new therapeutic products arising from research into the human genome. At present, Genmab's commercial opportunities are based upon research conducted at leading international companies, including Roche, Immunex Corporation, Oxford GlycoSciences Ltd., Sequenom, Inc., Eos Biotechnology Inc., Medarex Inc., deCode Genetics and Glaucus Proteomics B.V., as well as in its own laboratories. A broad alliance provides Genmab with access to Medarex Inc.'array of proprietary technologies, including the UltiMAb™ platform, for the rapid creation and development of fully human antibodies to virtually any disease target. For more information about Genmab, visit www.genmab.com.
Scancell's expertise lies in the discovery and development of monoclonal antibodies and vaccines for the treatment of cancer. Scancell has identified a large number of novel antigens as potential targets for drug development. Monoclonal antibodies recognising these targets directly induce tumour cell apoptosis and synergise with chemotherapy, thereby reducing toxicity and increasing therapeutic efficacy. Scancell has also developed ImmunoBodies as a platform technology to overcome the present limitations of cancer vaccines. For more information about Scancell visit www.scancell.co.uk
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