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Catalyst Biosciences, Inc. and Centocor Research And Development, Inc. Form Collaboration to Discover and Develop Engineered Protease Therapeutics


1/7/2008 6:54:05 AM

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Jan. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Catalyst Biosciences, Inc., a pioneer in the discovery and development of engineered proteases known as Alterase(TM) therapeutics, today announced that it has entered into an exclusive worldwide research and license agreement with Centocor Research & Development, Inc. Through the collaboration, Centocor will support the discovery research and preclinical development by Catalyst of Alterase drug candidates against two targets, one of which is in inflammatory disease, with an option to expand the agreement to include a third target. Alterase therapeutics are next-generation, protease biologics engineered with the ability to catalytically cleave and inactivate disease-causing proteins.

Catalyst Biosciences will receive an upfront payment of $11 million, comprised of cash and an equity investment by Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation (JJDC), and will receive research funding for two years. Centocor will be responsible for all development, manufacturing, and commercialization efforts associated with the Alterase products discovered through the collaboration in exchange for future milestones and royalties. In conjunction with the equity investment and the signing of the agreement, Asish K. Xavier, Ph.D., of JJDC will join the Catalyst Biosciences Board of Directors.

"We are very pleased to collaborate with Centocor, a leading developer of biologic therapies, to employ our Alterase drug discovery engine against high-value targets," said Nassim Usman, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Catalyst Biosciences. "We are also delighted to welcome JJDC to our premier group of investors."

About Catalyst Biosciences

Catalyst Biosciences is developing the next generation of biopharmaceuticals by harnessing the catalytic power of engineered proteases to target proteins underlying disease. Catalyst's discovery platform rapidly creates and optimizes tailor-made protease drug candidates, called Alterase(TM) therapeutics, that are applicable across a broad spectrum of disease categories. Initially, Catalyst is focusing its product development efforts on Alterase drug candidates for hemophilia, anti-angiogenesis, metabolic diseases, oncology and inflammation. To date, Catalyst has established two discovery research and product development collaborations with Wyeth Pharmaceuticals and Centocor Research & Development, Inc. Catalyst is privately-held with backing by leading venture firms including Burrill & Company, HealthCare Ventures, Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation, Morgenthaler Ventures, Novartis BioVentures, RCT BioVentures and Sofinnova Ventures. For more information, please visit www.catbio.com.

ewiberg@catbio.com

CONTACT: Erik Wiberg, Chief Financial Officer, Catalyst Biosciences, Inc.,
+1-650-266-8654, ewiberg@catbio.com; Karen L. Bergman, +1-650-575-1509, or
Michelle Corral, +1-415-794-8662, both of BCC Partners for Catalyst
Biosciences, Inc.

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



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