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Affitech AS Strengthens Patent Position on its Phagemid Antibody Screening Technology in Europe


4/2/2009 8:56:47 AM

OSLO, Norway, April 2 /PRNewswire/ -- The human antibody company, Affitech AS announced today that the European Patent Office has granted an European patent on the use of phagemid particles having an antibody-coliphage pIII fusion protein, to identify tumor associated antigens on cells by negative selection. The new patent (EP 1065271) is part of the "Breitling" family of patents, originally filed by the German Cancer Research Centre, (Heidelberg, Germany), which is exclusively licensed to Affitech AS.

The Breitling family of patents covers the use of full-length pIII phage protein as a scaffold in a phagemid vector, and is one of the fundamental groups of patents for the phagemid display of antibody, antibody fragments and proteins. The newly granted patent considerably strengthens Affitech's IP position in the core expertise area of using antibodies against living cells as targets for the identification of disease related antigens. Affitech has successfully negotiated cross-licensing agreements involving Breitling IP with leading antibody companies, including Dyax and Xoma.

Regarding the granting of the new IP, Dr Martin Welschof, CEO of Affitech AS commented, "The granted patent is a very valuable addition to Affitech's patent portfolio and is another proof of our ability to develop novel methods for the generation of clinically relevant products. The patented technology combines perfectly with our Cell Based Selection Technology (CBAS(TM)), which Affitech uses with great success in the cancer area to identify both antigens and antibodies."

About Affitech

Affitech is an antibody research and development company that was established in 1997 on the strength of its original worldwide exclusive license of the phagemid antibody display system acquired from the German Cancer Research Centre (DKFZ) in Heidelberg, Germany. The Company has successfully developed several proprietary technology platforms such as MBAS (Molecule Based Antibody Screening) and CBAS(TM) (Cell Based Antibody Selection) that not only fuel the in-house drug discovery engine, but also provide additional opportunities to support the Company's business goals through value generating discovery and licensing deals. Based on its proprietary technologies and know-how, Affitech has built a pipeline of promising antibody candidates for internal development or co-development with collaboration partners. Affitech also sells its proprietary Protein L product line for the purification of antibody and antibody fragments. The Company has concluded collaboration and IP cross-licensing deals with commercial organizations such as Omeros, Roche, Peregrine, XOMA, NatImmune, Viventia, Dyax, Micromet, and others. On March 3, 2009 Affitech announced its conditional reverse merger with Pharmexa A/S, a Danish biotech company, subject to the approval by shareholders of the two organizations. The focus of the new expanded company is both research and clinical development of antibody therapeutic products. Further information at www.affitech.com

CONTACT: Norway, Dr. Martin Welschof, Chief Executive Officer of Affitech,
+47-22-95-87-58, m.welschof@affitech.com; or Media, Richard Hayhurst of
Hayhurst Media, +44-7711-821527, richard@hayhurstmedia.com, for Affitech

Web site: http://www.affitech.com/



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