Cambridge Antibody Technology Group PLC And MSM Protein Technologies Enter Drug Discovery Collaboration In The Field Of Multi-Spanning Membrane Proteins

Published: Oct 17, 2006

CAMBRIDGE, England and BOSTON, Oct. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Cambridge Antibody Technology (CAT) and MSM Protein Technologies (MSM) announce today that they have formed a drug discovery collaboration aimed at developing antibody-based drugs targeting multi-spanning membrane proteins. The collaboration is a two-year research agreement in which CAT will fund MSM to use its proprietary technology on CAT's behalf and the two companies will provide each other with access to their respective technology for drug discovery.

Under the terms of the agreement, MSM will apply its proprietary technology and drug discovery techniques to display multi-spanning membrane proteins to select antibodies from CAT libraries against a number of CAT-nominated targets and MSM-nominated targets. CAT will pay MSM to conduct discovery work on CAT's behalf and both companies will have obligations to pay milestones and royalties to one another upon the successful commercialisation of any drugs resulting from the collaboration.

Alex Duncan PhD, CAT's Senior Vice President Discovery, commented, "We view this discovery collaboration with MSM as a particularly important advance in our continuing efforts to increasing the range of technologies that CAT can apply to the development and commercialisation of therapeutic proteins. By working with MSM we aim to strengthen our leadership position in this field and expand our expertise in this very exciting area. Multi-spanning membrane proteins comprise a major class of drug targets that includes G-protein coupled receptors, ion channels and transporters. Together they represent roughly 70% of the targets for therapeutic drugs and are an important class of largely untapped protein targets for therapeutic antibodies."

Davis Farmer, MSM's Chairman, commented, "The collaboration with CAT is an important step for MSM on several levels and provides an opportunity to generate our own drug candidates as well as those for CAT. This relationship with CAT follows a pilot project between CAT and MSM that demonstrated the synergy of our technologies for the successful selection of functional antibodies against multi-spanning membrane proteins, therefore the collaboration also provides a validation for our technology from a leading antibody company. We are delighted to announce this relationship and look forward to working with CAT to develop this specific class of therapeutic proteins."

Cambridge Antibody Technology (CAT): * Cambridge Antibody Technology (CAT) is a biopharmaceutical company using its capabilities and technologies in the discovery and development of new and innovative antibody medicines in selected therapeutic areas to bring improvements to seriously ill patients' lives. * CAT is a leader in the discovery and development of human therapeutic antibodies and has an advanced proprietary platform technology for rapidly isolating human monoclonal antibodies using phage display and ribosome display systems. CAT has extensive phage antibody libraries, currently incorporating more than 100 billion distinct antibodies. These libraries form the basis for the Company's strategy to develop a portfolio of antibody-based drugs. * CAT is part of the AstraZeneca group of companies. * CAT employs around 300 people and is based near Cambridge, UK and in Palo Alto, USA. * For more information: MSM Protein Technologies: * MSM is a Boston-based drug discovery company that has developed a proprietary integrated platform for displaying multi-spanning membrane proteins and for efficient drug selection. MSM's techniques yield highly-purified proteins in their native state and conformation, making them ideal for the selection of functional antibodies against these important cell-surface targets. * For more information: Membrane spanning proteins * A membrane spanning protein is an integral membrane protein that spans from the internal to the external surface of the biological membrane or lipid bilayer in which it is embedded. These proteins are expressed on a number of cell types, including on the surface of bacteria and viruses. * Multi-spanning membrane proteins are proteins that span a membrane a number of times. They represent an important class of cell-surface targets for therapeutic drugs for the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases. G-protein coupled receptors * A G-protein is an intracellular membrane-associated protein, responsible for activating a chain of events that trigger intracellular events or alter the behaviour of other target proteins. G-protein coupled receptors are cell surface receptors that are coupled to G-proteins. Ion channels and transporters * Ion channels are proteins forming a water-filled pore through a membrane through which ions can diffuse. Transporters are proteins that span a membrane that actively carry nutrients and ions across the membrane.

Cambridge Antibody Technology

CONTACT: Rowena Gardner, Director of Communications, or Helen Martindale,Communications Executive, Cambridge Antibody Technology, +44-1223-471-471;Davis Farmer, Chairman, MSM Protein Technologies, Inc, +1-603-772-2755; SueCharles, Tony Stephenson or Susan Yu, Northbank Communications (Europe),+44-20-3008-7550; Brad Miles, BMC Communications (USA), +1-212-477-9007ext. 17

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