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Scripps Research discovery leads to broad potential applications in CovX-Pfizer deal
Date:12/19/2007

LA JOLLA, CA, December 18, 2007 V For Immediate Release - A catalytic antibody discovery made at The Scripps Research Institute has formed the basis of the upcoming acquisition of biotechnology venture CovX by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, Inc.

"I am deeply gratified that our scientific findings have found such a broad potential application for drug discovery," said Richard A. Lerner, M.D., president of Scripps Research. "This development underlines the importance of basic science for advancing human health. When the initial discoveries were made, no one envisaged their ultimate therapeutic potential."

As licensor of the technology, Scripps Research will receive a percentage of the proceeds from the sale, as well royalties from any resulting therapies. The transaction between CovX and Pfizer was announced by the companies on December 18 and is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2008.

The Catalytic Antibody Advantage

Empowered by compelling results in his laboratory's development of a new class of drugs, Professor Carlos F. Barbas, III, Ph.D., set out to found CovX in 2002. He teamed up with his colleague Richard Lerner, with whom he had developed a unique and powerful class of catalytic antibodies.

This work offers a groundbreaking way to physically combine catalytic antibodies, which are large, soluble molecules that remain in the body for long periods of time, with small molecule drugs and peptides, which can kill disease-causing cells but may be expelled from the body too quickly to be effective as a therapy. These hybrid molecules have the desirable properties of eachXkilling disease-causing cells and staying in circulation long enough to dramatically enhance the drug's effectiveness.

The approach, which the scientists call "chemically programmed antibodies," has led to a number of compounds against cancer and metabolic disease under development by CovX. Chemically programmed antibo
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Contact: Keith McKeown
kmckeown@scripps.edu
858-784-8134
Scripps Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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