Cambridge Antibody Technology Group PLC Licenses Monoclonal Antibody (CAT-213) For Treatment Of Allergy Disorders To iCo Therapeutics Inc.

CAMBRIDGE, England and VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Jan. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Cambridge Antibody Technology (CAT) and iCo Therapeutics Inc. announce today that CAT has granted iCo an exclusive worldwide licence for the development and commercialisation of CAT-213, a human monoclonal antibody previously developed by CAT as a potential treatment for allergy disorders including asthma, allergic rhinitis and allergic conjunctivitis. iCo Therapeutics plans to advance the compound initially for the treatment of ocular allergies including allergic conjunctivitis.

Under the terms of the agreement, iCo Therapeutics will pay CAT an upfront fee, milestone payments for key clinical and regulatory achievements, and royalties on potential future sales. iCo Therapeutics will have sole responsibility for all future clinical development and the commercialisation of CAT-213.

CAT-213 is a human anti-eotaxin-1 monoclonal antibody, discovered and developed by CAT as a treatment for severe allergic disorders. Phase I/II studies have been completed and CAT-213 was found to be safe and well-tolerated.

Richard Mason, CAT’s SVP Business and Commercial Operations, commented, “Following an internal review of our development priorities, CAT decided to out-license CAT-213. iCo’s focus in ocular diseases, combined with their expertise in allergy and inflammation, make them an ideal partner to take this programme forward.”

Andrew Rae, President and CEO of iCo Therapeutics, commented, “CAT-213 represents a novel approach to the treatment of allergic conditions and one that may provide significant advantages over anti-histamine and steroidal approaches that are known for their adverse events, particularly when used chronically. This agreement illustrates the effectiveness of our innovative low-risk business model to license compounds already in clinical development and develop them to treat diseases of the eye”.

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: iCo Therapeutics: * iCo Therapeutics Inc. is an emerging, Vancouver-based biotechnology company focused on developing pre-existing drugs for a range of new conditions affecting isolated biological environments -- areas such as the eye, spinal cord, or joints -- where locally-administered application of these therapies would have minimal systemic distribution and fewer safety issues. * For more information: Eotaxin-1 * Eotaxin-1 is a protein that attracts eosinophils (type of white blood cell) into tissues where they accumulate and cause tissue damage and inflammation. This accumulation, known as eosinophilia, is thought to play a central role in the pathogenesis of allergic diseases and therefore suppression of this accumulation by CAT-213 may provide a beneficial therapeutic approach. Allergic Conjunctivitis * Diseases of the eye related to allergies affect approximately 20% of the population worldwide. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, approximately 40 million people in the US experience ocular allergies and this estimate is expected to increase due to environmental factors. * Allergic conjunctivitis is the most prevalent of all forms of conjunctivitis and can be either seasonal or perennial in nature. Symptoms include itching, burning, tearing and occasionally the sensation of a foreign body in the eye. The majority of allergic conjunctivitis cases are treated with topical eye drops. * The global market for ocular allergy treatments is expected to exceed US$1 billion by 2007, with approximately 50% of worldwide sales coming from the US (Source: iCo Therapeutics).

Cambridge Antibody Technology

CONTACT: Rowena Gardner, Director of Communications, or Helen Martindale,Communications Executive, both of Cambridge Antibody Technology,+44-0-1223-471-471; or John G. Clement, PhD, Chief Technical & DevelopmentOfficer of iCo Therapeutics, Inc., +1-604-602-9414; or Adam Michael, TonyStephenson or Eva Levin, all of Northbank Communications (Europe),+44-0-20-3008-7550; or Media: Brad Miles of BMC Communications (USA),+1-212-477-9007, ext 17