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Human Genome Sciences, Inc. (HGSI) and Novozymes A/S (NZYMb.CO) Announce Amendment to Albumin Fusion License Agreement


5/7/2009 6:59:38 AM

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ROCKVILLE, Md. and NOTTINGHAM, UK, May 7 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Human Genome Sciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: HGSI - News) and Novozymes Biopharma, a part of Novozymes (Nasdaq: NZYM B), today announced that they have amended an existing license agreement to allow both companies to expand application of their proprietary albumin fusion technology.

Under the amended agreement, HGS and Novozymes each has the opportunity to exclusively license and/or sublicense a number of albumin fusion proteins in exchange for royalties and other consideration. No existing HGS or Novozymes products or product rights, including rights licensed to other companies, are affected by these amendments. Financial or other terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

"Genetic fusion of therapeutic proteins to albumin can improve the pharmacology of the proteins, resulting in important benefits to patients," said Barry A. Labinger, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, HGS. "For example, with certain therapeutic proteins, albumin fusion may make it possible to dose less frequently and reduce side effects associated with injections. We are pleased to work with Novozymes to broaden the application of albumin fusion technology to new classes of proteins and peptides."

Thomas Videbaek, Executive Vice President, Novozymes, said, "We are delighted to expand this license agreement with HGS. We license both the fusion protein and the yeast expression systems, which have been optimised for producing albumin fusion proteins as the solution that provides an efficacious half-life in patients. Our strength lies in the fact that we focus on solutions and that is why Novozymes is an ideal partner for the pharmaceutical industry. This enables Novozymes to continue to further develop albufuse®, our proprietary albumin fusion technology, and advance our existing and new partnerships."

About Human Genome Sciences

The mission of HGS is to apply great science and great medicine to bring innovative drugs to patients with unmet medical needs. The HGS clinical development pipeline includes novel drugs to treat hepatitis C, lupus, inhalation anthrax and cancer. For more information about HGS, please visit the Company's web site at www.hgsi.com.

HGS and Human Genome Sciences are trademarks of Human Genome Sciences, Inc.

HGS Safe Harbor Statement

This announcement contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. The forward-looking statements are based on Human Genome Sciences' current intent, belief and expectations. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that are difficult to predict. Actual results may differ materially from these forward-looking statements because of the Company's unproven business model, its dependence on new technologies, the uncertainty and timing of clinical trials, the Company's ability to develop and commercialize products, its dependence on collaborators for services and revenue, its substantial indebtedness and lease obligations, its changing requirements and costs associated with facilities, intense competition, the uncertainty of patent and intellectual property protection, the Company's dependence on key management and key suppliers, the uncertainty of regulation of products, the impact of future alliances or transactions and other risks described in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In addition, while the Company has begun shipment of ABthrax to the U.S. Strategic National Stockpile, the Company will continue to face risks related to acceptance of future shipments and FDA's approval of the Company's Biologics License Application for ABthrax, if and when it is submitted. If the Company is unable to meet requirements associated with the ABthrax contract, future revenues from the sale of ABthrax to the U.S. Government will not occur. Existing and prospective investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of today's date. Human Genome Sciences undertakes no obligation to update or revise the information contained in this announcement whether as a result of new information, future events or circumstances or otherwise.

About Novozymes

Novozymes is the world leader in bioinnovation. Together with customers across a broad array of industries we create tomorrow's industrial biosolutions, improving our customers' business and the use of our planet's resources.

With over 700 products used in 130 countries, Novozymes' bioinnovations improve industrial performance and safeguard the world's resources by offering superior and sustainable solutions for tomorrow's ever-changing marketplace.

Novozymes' natural solutions enhance and promote everything from removing trans fats in cooking, to advancing biofuels to power the world tomorrow. Our never-ending exploration of nature's potential is evidenced by over 6,000 patents, showing what is possible when nature and technology join forces.

Our 5,000+ employees working in research, production and sales around the world are committed to shaping business today and our world tomorrow.

Detailed descriptions of the Company and its technologies can be viewed on the Company's website www.biopharma.novozymes.com.

Novozymes Forward-Looking Statement

This press release and its related comments contain forward-looking statements, including financial expectations.

Forward-looking statements are by their very nature associated with risks and uncertainties that may cause actually results to differ materially from expectations.

The uncertainties may include unexpected developments in the international currency exchange and securities markets, market-driven price decreases for Novozymes' products and the introduction of competing products within Novozymes' core areas.


Read at BioSpace.com

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