Monday, Sep 9, 1991
South San Francisco, Calif. -- September 9, 1991 --Genentech, Inc. (NYSE:GNE) and Xenova Limited, a development stage pharmaceutical company based in the United Kingdom, today announced they have extended their research collaboration with a new $20 million agreement covering development of cardiovascular products for hypertension and heart disease. The agreement includes $10 million research support over five years, and a two-stage equity investment of up to $10 million by Genentech in Xenova.
The research agreement expands the two companies' current joint research program into new therapeutic areas, including receptors important in hypertension, congestive heart disease and a molecular mechanism critical in atherosclerosis. Other new targets include adhesion molecules believed to be important in inflammation and autoimmune disease. The goal of the research program is discovery and development of new pharmaceutical agents of low molecular weight which can be useful in treating these major diseases.
The collaboration combines Genentech's experience in recombinant DNA technology and protein chemistry with Xenova's expertise in the development of targeted screening of small molecules derived from microorganisms such as fungi and bacteria. Their research collaboration began in May 1989, focusing on cardiovascular disease and growth control. It was expanded last January to include additional molecular targets in these research areas.
"This agreement marks a further step towards our goal of building strong research collaborations with leading bioscience companies around the world," said G. Kirk Raab, Genentech's president and chief executive officer. "We are delighted that we are broadening our involvement with Xenova, particularly given the promising results of our earlier work."
"Genentech's expanded commitment to Xenova demonstrates a recognition of the value of our technology," said Louis J. Nisbet, Ph.D., Xenova founder and chief executive officer. "Xenova's strength lies in the development of naturally derived small molecules. We believe this technology will significantly increase the potential for creating marketable products for our two companies."
Xenova, a privately-held company based near London in Slough, England, is a drug discovery company that isolates and identifies novel, biologically active small molecules from fungi and other natural biological sources using sophisticated proprietary screening methods. Xenova has an extensive proprietary screening collection of over 20,000 microorganisms. The company was established in 1987.
Genentech, Inc. is a biotechnology company that discovers, develops, manufactures and markets human pharmaceuticals for significant medical needs.
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