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Immunomedics Announces U.S. Patent for a Facile Method of Fluorine-18 Labeling of Proteins and Peptides


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Morris Plains, NJ -- Immunomedics, Inc. (Nasdaq: IMMU), a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing monoclonal antibodies to treat cancer and other serious diseases, announced that U.S. patent 7,563,433 covering methods and compositions for fluorine-18 (F-18) labeling of proteins, peptides and other molecules will issue today. The allowed claims cover the novel method for attaching F-18 to peptides via a conjugate with aluminum or other metals recently published by the Company in June, 2009, issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine. At the 2009 annual meeting of the Society of Nuclear Medicine, using the new labeling method, F-18 labeled peptides were shown to be stable enough to produce exceptional positron-emission tomography (PET) images of receptor-expressing tumors in animals. The new patent provides coverage until 2027.

"This is the first patent protecting our new method for binding F-18 to proteins and peptides for improved PET imaging of diseases. We plan to out-license this technology on a product-by-product basis for a variety of diagnostic imaging applications," stated Cynthia L. Sullivan, President and CEO. "We are pleased with the interest already indicated to us by major radiopharmaceutical and imaging companies," she added.

PET is one of the most prominent imaging tools in diagnostic medicine. F-18 is a positron-emitting radioisotope usually given to patients as F-18 fluoro-2-deoxyglucose (F-18 FDG), a sugar analog. Increased glucose metabolism, which leads to higher uptake of F-18 FDG, is the premise of F-18 FDG PET imaging. F-18 FDG is the most widely used radiopharmaceutical in PET to determine abnormal glucose metabolism. In the United States, F-18 FDG has been approved for use in detecting certain tumors, coronary artery disease, and epilepsy. However, F-18 FDG uptake is also enhanced during inflammatory processes and in rapidly-proliferating normal cells (such as bone marrow), which may lead to false-positive results and lower specificity.

About Immunomedics

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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