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Vegenics Limited Licenses From CoGenesys, Inc. Antibodies Against VEGF-C for Applications Including Oncology


6/18/2007 10:40:05 AM

ROCKVILLE, Md., and MELBOURNE, Australia, June 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Vegenics Limited and CoGenesys, Inc. today announced that Vegenics has licensed from CoGenesys exclusive worldwide rights to human monoclonal antibodies that target vascular endothelial growth factor-C (VEGF-C). VEGF-C is believed to play an important role in promoting the formation of new blood vessels and the maintenance of existing blood vessels. In oncology, inhibition of VEGF-C is a promising new approach to restricting blood and nutrient supply that supports tumour growth.

Robert Klupacs, Managing Director of Vegenics, stated, "We are delighted to announce this further agreement with CoGenesys, which builds on the extensive patent portfolio covering VEGF-C and VEGF-D and antagonists to these molecules. In addition to CoGenesys, the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and Licentia Limited have provided critical research in this area over the past 10 years. We believe that we now have the leading position in developing phage-derived antibodies for human therapeutic antibodies against VEGF-C."

"Vegenics has demonstrated their commitment to developing VEGF-C technologies, and we are delighted to provide these additional rights to enhance their efforts. Our partnership with Vegenics is a great example of our business model, in which multiple, early-stage partnering agreements will generate a continuing revenue stream to support our own internal development activities," said Mark Rampy, Chief Business Officer of CoGenesys.

Human Genome Sciences, Inc. had previously exercised an option granted to HGSI by Cambridge Antibody Technology plc to obtain an exclusive worldwide license to human monoclonal antibodies to VEGF-C. HGSI and CAT entered into an antibody product development alliance in early 2000. The agreement provided HGSI with rights to use CAT's antibody technology to develop and sell human antibodies for therapeutic and diagnostic purposes and the right to sublicense those rights. In return, CAT is entitled to receive license fees, clinical development milestones and royalties on product sales from Human Genome Sciences and any sublicensees. HGSI sublicensed its rights to certain VEGF-C antibodies to CoGenesys, Inc. pursuant to the License Agreement between HGSI and CoGenesys dated June 7, 2006.

About Vegenics Limited

Vegenics is an Australian company 67% owned by Circadian Technologies Limited, and 33% by the New York-based Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and Licentia Limited, the commercial arm of the University of Helsinki. Vegenics is developing a pipeline of therapeutic compounds based on antagonists to the vascular endothelial growth factors, VEGF-C and VEGF-D. The VEGF technology, developed by world renowned Ludwig and Licentia researchers in Australia and Finland, as well as CoGenesys scientists, has been exclusively licensed to Vegenics.

About CoGenesys, Inc.

CoGenesys, Inc. was spun out of Human Genome Sciences, Inc. in June of 2006. The Company's strategy is to demonstrate safety and proof of concept in clinical trials followed by selectively licensing or partnering of compounds to fund further development. CoGenesys has approximately 80 employees, including 20 PhD-level scientists, and a dedicated 48,000 sq. ft. facility with cGMP manufacturing capacity sufficient for early-stage clinical testing. For more information, visit www.CoGenesys.com.

CoGenesys, Inc.

CONTACT: Robert Klupacs, Managing Director of Vegenics Limited, +61 (3)9826 0399, robert.klupacs@circadian.com.au; or Mark A. Rampy, Ph. D. ChiefBusiness Officer, of CoGenesys Inc., +1 (240) 821 9019,mark_rampy@cogenesys.com


Read at BioSpace.com

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