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Immunomedics Announces U.S. Patents Awarded for Bispecific Antibody Technologies
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Morris Plains, NJ -- Immunomedics, Inc. (Nasdaq: IMMU), a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing monoclonal antibodies to treat cancer and other serious diseases, today announced that it was awarded US patent 7,560,110, "Production and use of novel peptide-based agents with bispecific antibodies." This patent covers both constructs and methods of use for bispecific antibodies or antibody fragments, for use in the technology called 'pretargeting,' which Immunomedics and its subsidiary, IBC Pharmaceuticals, Inc., have in preclinical and clinical development for cancer imaging and therapy. The technology not only includes treatment of cancers, but also other diseases, such as infectious diseases (e.g., bacterial, fungal, viral, and protozoan infections), as well as imaging of normal and diseased organs. It includes diverse molecular imaging methods, such as nuclear (SPECT and PET), fluorescence, ultrasound, and magnetic resonance imaging. Therapeutically, the patent covers pretargeting with radionuclides, drugs, prodrugs and toxins.
In addition, the Company has received notice that additional claims for this same patent family will issue as U.S. patent no. 7,563,439 on July 21, 2009. This other patent covers any bispecific antibodies or antibody fragments comprising the humanized 679 antibody, the Company's proprietary antibody that binds to the histamine-succinyl-glycine (HSG) hapten-peptide. Both patents provide coverage until 2019.
"We believe these two patents further strengthen the Company's intellectual property protection of bispecific antibodies for pretargeted imaging and therapy of cancer and other serious diseases," commented Cynthia L. Sullivan, President and CEO. "The products being developed and studied for cancer imaging and therapy by pretargeting are directly covered by the patent claims," Ms. Sullivan added.
The Company's bispecific antibodies are designed to be used with HSG haptens for the delivery of therapeutic and diagnostic agents in pretargeting methods. Pretargeting separates the localization of a normal or diseased tissue by means of a bispecific antibody that binds to antigens on these cells, but also to a peptide (HSG) hapten that carries the diagnostic or therapeutic agent. Only after the bispecific antibody selectively localizes to the target tissue of interest and is removed from other tissues in the body is the hapten-peptide bearing the imaging or therapeutic modality injected. This has been found to provide a higher signal at the target, compared to background tissues, or a higher deposit of the therapeutic to a tumor. Pretargeting techniques potentially can be used for the diagnosis and treatment of a wide variety of diseases, including cancer and infectious diseases. Because pretargeting preferentially increases the delivery of imaging and therapeutic agents to diseased tissues compared to normal tissues, it can potentially result in an increased effectiveness of these agents while decreasing the prevalence of undesirable side effects, based on studies that the Company's scientists have published on preclinical and clinical investigations of pretargeting.
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 137 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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