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Xcyte Therapies, Inc. Shutting Down Seattle Operations



12/16/2005 1:20:08 PM

Troubled biotech company Xcyte Therapies Inc. said it has reached two separate agreements that result in the closure of the company's facilities in Seattle. Seattle-based Xcyte sold its intellectual property and accumulated clinical data relating to its T-cell expansion technology to Carlsbad, Calif.-based Invitrogen Inc. (NASDAQ: IVGN) for $5 million in cash and possible future payments. Xcyte had stopped all clinical trials earlier this year, though six trials had been conducted on Xcellerated T-Cells as a cancer treatment. Separately, Xcyte agreed to merge with Cyclacel Group PLC, a private biotech company based in Scotland. The merged company will be called Cyclacel Pharmaceuticals Inc. and be based in Short Hills, N.J. All facilities in Seattle will close and the research facilities will be located in the United Kingdom. Cyclacel shareholders will own 80 percent of the merged company, while former Xcyte shareholders will hold the balance, according to a news release. The newly merged entity will build upon Cyclacel's cell cycle biology, which has resulted in a portfolio of three orally available, mechanism-targeted drugs that modulate the cancer cell cycle. Those drug candidates are all in early to midstage clinical trials. Xcyte's decline has been coming for some time.



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