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Biolex Therapeutics And Kringle Pharma, Inc. Announce Collaboration For Production Of A Novel Protein Targeting Cancer


10/27/2005 11:26:07 AM

PITTSBORO, N.C. and OSAKA, Japan, Oct. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Biolex Therapeutics, a protein therapeutics company, and Kringle Pharma, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company developing cancer therapeutics, have formed a collaboration under which Biolex will use its LEX System(TM) for protein expression to create a commercial line for Kringle's NK4 protein. NK4 is currently in preclinical development for the treatment of multiple cancers, and the creation of a commercial line will facilitate scaled-up production of the protein for clinical development and commercialization. Biolex has now formed Commercial Line Creation collaborations with six pharmaceutical and biotech companies encompassing a total of 16 proteins targeting multiple indications. This agreement with Kringle represents Biolex' first collaboration with a Japanese company.

NK4 is an elastase-generated fragment of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) containing four kringle domains, initially discovered as a competitive antagonist of HGF. Research suggests that it also possesses the anti- angiogenic property relevant to cancer and neovascularization disorders. Preclinical testing of NK4 has shown inhibition of both metastasis and angiogenesis in multiple animal tumor models. Efficient production of NK4 using the LEX System will accelerate the rapid clinical development and commercialization of NK4.

"NK4 is a prime candidate for development with the LEX System as the protein has shown great promise in animal models for several different cancers, but production of the protein has been thought to be fairly inefficient with traditional expression systems," said Jan Turek, Chief Executive Officer of Biolex. "This collaboration will provide us the opportunity to work with Kringle Pharma on an important new potential cancer therapeutic agent."

"The Biolex team has successfully produced a wide range of human proteins and monoclonal antibodies including Plasminogen, a protein that contains multiple kringle domains similar to those in NK4," said Mr. Kunio Iwatani, Chief Executive Officer of Kringle Pharma. "We believe that the LEX System could be an ideal production system for NK4."

About Kringle Pharma, Inc.

Kringle Pharma was established in December 2001 for the purpose of eradicating cancer by developing new candidate medicines originated from Osaka University. The company is focusing on commercializing new biological drugs based on HGF and NK4 discovered by Prof. Nakamura and Associate Prof. Matsumoto at Osaka University. HGF plays key roles in many organs as an intrinsic repair factor, providing a significant therapeutic potential to be a regenerative medicine. NK4 directly inhibits tumor invasion and metastasis as well as tumor growth, and has demonstrated equal activity in a wide range of different cancer types and stages.

About Biolex Therapeutics

Biolex Therapeutics applies its unique drug development capabilities and expertise to commercialize complex proteins and monoclonal antibodies that until now have been impossible or very expensive to develop through traditional means. Biolex' patented LEX System(TM) uses Lemna as a transgenic host in its cGMP biopharmaceutical manufacturing facility. The company is advancing a proprietary pipeline of product candidates including Locteron(TM), a novel controlled-release form of alfa interferon targeting hepatitis C which will enter Phase 1 clinical trials in 2005. Biolex has a multi-protein strategic alliance with Centocor and collaborations with other pharmaceutical/biotech companies including Medarex and OctoPlus. Biolex is a venture-capital backed company located in the Research Triangle region of North Carolina, United States. For additional information, please visit Biolex' web site at www.biolex.com.

For further information please contact: Biolex Therapeutics: Michelle Linn, Linnden Communications, 508-419-1555, linnmich@comcast.net. Kringle Pharma: Kiichi Adachi, Ph.D., Director, R&D, Kringle Pharma, Inc., +81-6-6831-3330, info@kringle-pharma.com

Biolex, Inc.

CONTACT: Michelle Linn of Linnden Communications, +1-508-419-1555, orlinnmich@comcast.net, for Biolex Therapeutics; or Kiichi Adachi, Ph.D.,Director, R&D of Kringle Pharma, Inc., +81-6-6831-3330, orinfo@kringle-pharma.com


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