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MedImmune, Inc. (MEDI) And VasGene Therapeutics Inc. Announce Collaboration To Develop Monoclonal Antibodies Targeting Cancer


10/19/2005 5:09:15 PM

GAITHERSBURG, Md. and LOS ANGELES, Sept. 8 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- MedImmune, Inc. and VasGene Therapeutics, Inc. announced today that they have entered into a collaborative agreement to develop cancer- focused monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) targeting a novel member of a subfamily of receptor tyrosine kinases, EphB4, as well as its ligand, EphrinB2. Under the terms of the agreement, MedImmune will be responsible for the clinical development and commercialization of any resulting products. VasGene will provide research and development support and receive an upfront fee, development and regulatory milestone payments, as well as royalties on any future marketed products.

"MedImmune continues to expand the breadth and depth of its oncology product pipeline with promising new antibodies, targets and technologies," said Peter A. Kiener, D.Phil., MedImmune's senior vice president, research. "Adding antibodies against EphB4 and EphrinB2 to our portfolio builds upon our existing activities with Eph kinases, including ongoing work with EphA2 and EphA4. As we further our research in this area, we hope to expand the growing body of knowledge regarding the role Eph receptors may play in cancers, and we look forward to working with VasGene to advance novel product candidates with potential therapeutic applications."

"We are extremely pleased to announce our collaboration with MedImmune," said Raymond A. Mirra, Jr., VasGene's chairman and chief executive officer. "MedImmune is highly experienced in the successful development of antibodies, and together we are going to make every effort to advance these compounds into the clinic."

About EphB4 and EphrinB2

EphB4 is a member of the Eph family, the largest subfamily of receptor tyrosine kinases. EphB4 is found at high levels on tumor cells and in tumor- associated blood vessels. The binding of EphB4 to its ligand, EphrinB2, has been linked with the metastatic and angiogenic potential of many cancers, and antibodies targeting EphB4 or EphrinB2 may selectively inhibit the growth and survival of tumor cells and tumor-associated blood vessels.

About MedImmune

MedImmune strives to provide better medicines to patients, new medical options for physicians, rewarding careers to employees, and increased value to shareholders. Dedicated to advancing science and medicine to help people live better lives, the company is focused on the areas of infectious diseases, cancer and inflammatory diseases. With approximately 2,000 employees worldwide, MedImmune is headquartered in Maryland. For more information, visit http://www.medimmune.com.

About VasGene

VasGene, a privately held biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Los Angeles, California, is dedicated to the development and commercialization of innovative therapeutics based on the understanding of vascular biology. VasGene's products target signal transduction pathways common to cancer cells and endothelial cells, resulting in powerful anti-cancer agents with multiple modes of action: inhibition of tumor cell growth, anti-angiogenesis, and prevention of tumor cell metastasis. For more information, visit http://www.vasgene.com.

This announcement may contain, in addition to historical information, certain forward-looking statements related to the targeting of Eph proteins that involve risks and uncertainties. Such statements reflect management's current views and are based on certain assumptions about the success of these programs. Actual results could differ materially from those currently anticipated as a result of a number of factors, including risks and uncertainties discussed in MedImmune's filings with the SEC. MedImmune is developing Eph-related product candidates for potential future marketing. There can be no assurance that such development efforts will succeed, that such products will receive required regulatory clearance or that, even if such regulatory clearance were received, such products would ultimately achieve commercial success.

This press release can be found on MedImmune's website at http://www.medimmune.com in the box marked "News" or with the archived press releases on the Investor Summary page.

MedImmune, Inc.; VasGene Therapeutics, Inc.

CONTACT: Media: Jamie Lacey, +1-301-398-4035, or Investors: Peter Vozzo,+1-301-398-4358, both of MedImmune, Inc.; or Media: Joe Tropiano of VasGeneTherapeutics, Inc., +1-610-237-1851


Read at BioSpace.com

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