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Immunomedics Announces U.S. Patent for Dock-And-Lock
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
First Issued Patent for the Protein Engineering Platform Technology
Morris Plains, NJ -- Immunomedics, Inc. (Nasdaq: IMMU), a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing monoclonal antibodies to treat cancer and other serious diseases, announced that IBC Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a majority-owned subsidiary (IBC), has received notice that its patent application for "Multivalent immunoglobulin-based bioactive assemblies" will issue as U.S. patent no. 7,527,787 today.
The patent concerns a protein engineering platform technology called the Dock-and-Lock (DNL), which was jointly developed by scientists from both Immunomedics and IBC. The allowed claims under the patent cover methods and compositions for constructing stable protein complexes with defined compositions. Because a wide variety of known biologically active molecules and compounds can be stably and securely attached to different arrays of proteins, DNL can create diverse complexes for diagnostic and/or therapeutic applications. Bioactive compounds and molecules suitable for DNL include drugs, enzymes, radionuclides, therapeutic and diagnostic agents.
"This is the first patent for DNL, which, because of its versatility, has allowed us to broaden our research and development activities beyond monoclonal antibodies to include cytokines and potentially vaccines, as evidenced by the multiple DNL presentations we gave at the recent annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research," commented Cynthia L. Sullivan, President and CEO.
About the Dock and Lock Method (DNL)
DNL is a platform technology that utilizes the natural interaction between two proteins, cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA) and A-kinase anchoring proteins (AKAPs). The region that is involved in such interaction for PKA is called the dimerization and docking domain (DDD), which always appears in pairs. Its binding partner in AKAPs is the anchoring domain (AD). When mixed together, DDD and AD will bind with each other spontaneously to form a binary complex, a process termed docking. Once "docked," certain amino acid residues incorporated into DDD and AD will react with each other to "lock" them into a stably tethered structure. The outcome of the DNL method is the exclusive generation of a stable complex, in a quantitative manner that retains the full biological activities of its individual components. Diverse drugs, chemical polymers, proteins, peptides, and nucleic acids are among suitable components that can be linked to either DDD or AD. Since DDD always appears in pairs, any component that is linked to DDD will have two copies present in the final products.
Immunomedics is a New Jersey-based biopharmaceutical company primarily focused on the development of monoclonal, antibody-based products for the targeted treatment of cancer, autoimmune and other serious diseases. We have developed a number of advanced proprietary technologies that allow us to create humanized antibodies that can be used either alone in unlabeled or "naked" form, or conjugated with radioactive isotopes, chemotherapeutics or toxins, in each case to create highly targeted agents. Using these technologies, we have built a pipeline of therapeutic product candidates that utilize several different mechanisms of action. We also have a majority ownership in IBC Pharmaceuticals, Inc., which is developing a novel Dock-and-Lock (DNL) methodology with us for making fusion proteins and multifunctional antibodies, and a new method of delivering imaging and therapeutic agents selectively to disease, especially different solid cancers (colorectal, lung, pancreas, etc.), by proprietary, antibody-based, pretargeting methods. We believe that our portfolio of intellectual property, which includes approximately 134 patents issued in the United States and more than 300 other patents issued worldwide, protects our product candidates and technologies. For additional information on us, please visit our website at www.immunomedics.com. The information on our website does not, however, form a part of this press release.
This release, in addition to historical information, may contain forward-looking statements made pursuant to the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements, including statements regarding clinical trials, out-licensing arrangements (including the timing and amount of contingent payments), forecasts of future operating results, and capital raising activities, involve significant risks and uncertainties and actual results could differ materially from those expressed or implied herein. Factors that could cause such differences include, but are not limited to, risks associated with new product development (including clinical trials outcome and regulatory requirements/actions), our dependence on our licensing partners for the further development of epratuzumab for autoimmune indications and veltuzumab for non-cancer indications, competitive risks to marketed products and availability of required financing and other sources of funds on acceptable terms, if at all, as well as the risks discussed in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Company is not under any obligation, and the Company expressly disclaims any obligation, to update or alter any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
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