Monday, Dec 17, 1990

Genentech to Broadly License Key Monoclonal Antibody Patent

South San Francisco, Calif. -- December 17, 1990 --

Genentech, Inc. today announced that it is making licenses available to biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies for a basic patent in the antibody field.

The patent, U.S. 4816567, and other pending patents cover recombinant chimeric immunoglobulins and the manufacturing processes to make them. Another pending patent available for license is directed to the coexpression of immunoglobulin chains including, but not restricted to, chimeric immunoglobulins. Chimeric immunoglobulins currently being produced typically contain a major antibody portion of human origin and the remainder from another species, such as mice. The major advantage of chimeric immunoglobulins is that they are less immunogenic and therefore reduce the risk of undesirable immune response in humans.

The patent arose from a collaboration with the City of Hope National Medical Center in the early 1980s. The City of Hope will receive a portion of the royalties. A goal of Genentech's licensing program is to make the chimeric technology widely available for commercial uses which will maximize its potential contribution to human health care.

More than 25 pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies currently are developing chimeric monoclonal antibody products and dozens of clinical trials are underway for therapeutics, vaccines and diagnostics. Potential uses include treatments for septic shock, autoimmune disorders and cancer, as well as imaging.

Genentech recently established its own monoclonal antibody research and development program. Potential products include antibodies to HER-2, which is undergoing preclinical studies to evaluate its potential to help manage breast and ovarian cancer. HER-2 clinical trials are expected to begin in 1991.

It is Genentech's plan to grant limited numbers of co-exclusive licenses for specific antibodies for selected fields of use at traditional and reasonable royalty rates. A limited number of exclusive arrangements will be considered. It is expected that these antigens and fields will close as licenses are granted. Additional information is available from Nicholas Simon, Genentech director of business development.

Genentech, Inc. is a leading biotechnology company focusing on the development, manufacture and marketing of pharmaceuticals produced by recombinant DNA technology.

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