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Potential Lupus Drug Gains U.S. Patent
Friday, January 08, 2010
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 its patent for "Immunotherapy of autoimmune disorders using antibodies which target B-cells" has been issued as U.S. patent no. 7,641,901. The patent covers the use of monoclonal antibodies that bind to the CD22 antigen on B-lymphocytes for treating autoimmune disorders. The allowed claims cover the use of epratuzumab, the Company's proprietary humanized anti-CD22 monoclonal antibody, and other anti-CD22 antibodies, alone and in combination with other therapeutics, such as antibodies, cytokines, or drugs, for the treatment of a wide range of autoimmune diseases that include systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren's syndrome, multiple sclerosis, myasthenia gravis, diabetes mellitus, and ulcerative colitis.
"This patent further strengthens our intellectual property protection of epratuzumab, for the treatment of autoimmune diseases," commented Cynthia L. Sullivan, President and CEO. "Our partner, UCB, has recently reported encouraging top-line results from their Phase IIb study of epratuzumab in lupus and is planning to initiate a Phase III program for 2010," added Ms. Sullivan.
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 141 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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