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Roche (RHHBY) And Glycart Biotechnology AG To Discover New Therapeutic Antibodies


10/19/2005 5:11:36 PM

Basel and Zurich, Switzerland - 21 September, 2004 -- Roche and GLYCART biotechnology today announced an agreement to discover next-generation therapeutic antibodies using GlycoMAb(TM) technology. Roche will have the option to develop and market worldwide all antibodies generated by GLYCART from an undisclosed product candidate. GLYCART will receive an upfront fee, research funding, milestone payments and royalties on product sales.

“We have rapidly generated GlycoMAb(TM) versions of Roche’s antibody with dramatically enhanced potency, and we are pleased that after this initial technology evaluation, Roche has decided to license GlycoMAb(TM),” said Pablo Umaña, PhD, CSO of GLYCART. Joël Jean-Mairet, PhD, CEO of GLYCART, added, “The significance of bringing our technology to a global antibody player such as Roche cannot be underestimated. Clearly, this collaboration will be invaluable to GLYCART in continuing to forge partnerships with the leading antibody companies.” “In the first quarter of this year, 49 percent of Roche’s sales came from biotechnology products,” explained Peter Hug, Roche’s Global Head of Pharma Partnering. “To maintain and expand our leadership in the antibody market, and in disease areas such as oncology, Roche will continue to partner with excellent antibody companies such as GLYCART.”

About GLYCART

GLYCART is a privately held Swiss biotechnology company focussed on the development and commercialization of a new generation of antibody products based on its proprietary GlycoMAb(TM) technology. GLYCART is developing its own GlycoMAb(TM)-based antibody portfolio by inlicensing and acquiring antibodies at early stages of development and applying GlycoMAb(TM) to F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd CH-4070 Basel Roche Pharma Partnering Tel.: +41 61 688 9358 http://www.roche.com 2 them. GLYCART’s initial focus will be next-generation antibody therapeutics against wellcharacterized and clinically validated targets. In such partnership scenarios, GLYCART is conducting preclinical and early clinical development studies, while actively seeking pharmaceutical and biotech partners to complete clinical development and commercialization. Taking advantage of its broad technology platform beyond GlycoMAb(TM) into antibody humanization, expression and screening, GLYCART is establishing collaborations and partnerships with biotech and pharmaceutical companies to enhance the efficacy and utility of their antibody drug candidates. GLYCART was founded in 2000 as a spin-off from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) at Zürich, and is located in Zürich-Schlieren.

About GlycoMAb(TM):

GlycoMAb is a fully developed technology platform that efficiently increases the specific biological activity of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies for target cell ablation. It is based on an active modulation of antibody glycosylation during production leading to antibody products with increased ADCC (antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity). A high relevance for therapeutic efficacy, industrial scale applicability, broad patent protection and an extensive body of proof (including external validation) are the distinct hallmarks of this technology.

About Roche as a Partner

Roche is a valued partner to over 50 companies worldwide. During 2003, Roche entered into 20 alliances in discovery, early research and technology, 11 of which extended or expanded existing relationships. Roche’s alliance strategy is to enable our partners to grow through a flexible and collaborative approach.

About Roche

Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is one of the world’s leading innovation-driven healthcare groups. Its core businesses are pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. As a supplier of products and services for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease, the Group contributes on a broad range of fronts to improving people’s health and quality of life. Roche is number one in the global diagnostics market, the leading supplier of pharmaceuticals for cancer and transplantation and a market leader in virology. In 2003 prescription drug sales by the Pharmaceuticals Division totalled 19.8 billion Swiss francs, while the Diagnostics Division posted sales of 7.4 billion Swiss francs. Roche employs roughly 65,000 people in 150 countries and has alliances and R&D agreements with numerous partners, including majority ownership interests in Genentech and Chugai.

Contacts:

Roche- Europe
Sabrina Oei
Pharma Partnering
Tel: +41 61 688 9358
sabrina.oei@roche.com

GLYCART biotechnology AG
Joël Jean-Mairet, PhD
Chief Executive Officer
Tel: +41 1 755 6167
Fax: +41 1 755 6160
joel.jean-mairet@glycart.com
Website: www.glycart.com


Read at BioSpace.com

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