ROCKVILLE, Md. and EXTON, Pa., March 25 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Human Genome Sciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: HGSI) and Morphotek(R), Inc., a subsidiary of Eisai Corporation of North America, today announced that they have entered into a collaboration to discover, develop and commercialize therapeutic monoclonal antibodies in the fields of oncology and immunology that specifically target antigens discovered by HGS.
"The rapid commercialization of our late-stage compounds continues to be the priority focus of HGS. At the same time, we also remain committed to advancing our earlier and mid-stage programs in development to ensure sustainable growth well into the future," said H. Thomas Watkins, President and Chief Executive Officer, HGS. "We look forward to collaborating with Morphotek to develop targeted new therapies based on our discoveries and extensive intellectual property estate."
Under the terms of the agreement, Morphotek will be responsible for validating targets discovered through genomic research and provided by HGS, generating and developing all monoclonal antibody candidates using proprietary Morphotek technologies, and conducting early preclinical proof of concept studies. With respect to each antibody candidate, HGS and Morphotek will have the right to opt in to participate in development and commercialization. Under certain circumstances, HGS and Morphotek may share research and development, manufacturing and commercialization costs. Financial and other specific terms were not disclosed.
"Our proprietary technologies have been applied successfully to a variety of biological targets, and we look forward to collaborating with Human Genome Sciences to apply our antibody technology to a range of novel targets that stem from HGS's genomic discovery research," said Nicholas Nicolaides, Ph.D., President and CEO of Morphotek. "This agreement is a continuation of our business model of leveraging access to targets from collaborators that have identified them using their internal expertise/technologies, applying Morphotek's technologies to develop lead antibodies and then through active collaboration with our partners validating the therapeutic potential of our antibodies in preclinical and if warranted clinical studies."
About the HGS New Targets Initiative
HGS has a rich heritage of scientific discovery that has produced a large intellectual property estate and a library of thousands of therapeutic and diagnostic targets. Over the past three years, HGS has conducted a careful review and selected approximately 50 targets for further research and potential development. HGS plans to develop the selected targets through co-development or research collaborations, including the agreement with Morphotek announced today, as well as through its own internal research.
Morphotek(R), Inc., a subsidiary of Eisai Corporation of North America, is a biopharmaceutical company specializing in the development of protein and antibody products through the use of novel and proprietary technologies. These technologies have been successfully applied to a variety of molecules that are suitable for pharmaceutical product development in the areas of antibody therapeutics, protein therapeutics, product manufacturing, drug target discovery, and improved output traits for commercial applications. The company is currently focusing its platform on the development and manufacturing of therapeutic antibodies for the treatment of cancer, inflammation and infectious disease. For more information, please visit www.morphotek.com.
About Eisai Corporation of North America
Eisai Corporation of North America is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Eisai Co., Ltd., a research-based human health care (hhc) company that discovers, develops and markets products throughout the world. Eisai focuses its efforts in three therapeutic areas: neurology, gastrointestinal disorders and oncology/critical care. Eisai Corporation of North America supports the activities of its operating companies in North America, which include: Eisai Research Institute of Boston, Inc., a discovery operation with strong organic chemistry capabilities; Morphotek, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company specializing in the development of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies; Eisai Medical Research Inc., a clinical development group; Eisai Inc., a commercial operation with manufacturing and marketing/sales functions; and Eisai Machinery U.S.A., which markets and maintains pharmaceutical manufacturing machinery. For more information about Eisai, please visit www.eisai.com.
About Human Genome Sciences
The mission of HGS is to apply great science and great medicine to bring innovative drugs to patients with unmet medical needs. The HGS clinical development pipeline includes novel drugs to treat hepatitis C, lupus, inhalation anthrax and cancer.
The Company's primary focus is rapid progress toward the commercialization of its two lead drugs, Albuferon(R) (albinterferon alfa-2b) for hepatitis C and LymphoStat-B(R) (belimumab) for lupus. Albuferon has now completed Phase 3 development, and the filing of global marketing applications is expected in fall 2009. Two Phase 3 clinical trials of LymphoStat-B are ongoing, with results expected in July and November 2009.
In January 2009, HGS began delivery of 20,000 doses of ABthrax(TM) (raxibacumab) to the U.S. Strategic National Stockpile for use in the event of an emergency for the treatment of inhalation anthrax. The Company also has several drugs in earlier stages of clinical development for the treatment of cancer, led by the TRAIL receptor antibody HGS-ETR1 and a small-molecule antagonist of IAP (inhibitor of apoptosis) proteins. In addition, HGS has substantial financial rights to certain products in the GSK clinical pipeline including darapladib, currently in Phase 3 development as a potential treatment for coronary heart disease, and Syncria(R) (albiglutide), currently in Phase 3 development as a potential treatment for type 2 diabetes.
For more information about HGS, please visit the Company's web site at www.hgsi.com. Health professionals and patients interested in clinical trials of HGS products may inquire via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling HGS at (301) 610-5790, extension 3550.
HGS, Human Genome Sciences, ABthrax, Albuferon and LymphoStat-B are trademarks of Human Genome Sciences, Inc.
HGS Safe Harbor Statement
This announcement contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. The forward-looking statements are based on Human Genome Sciences' current intent, belief and expectations. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that are difficult to predict. Actual results may differ materially from these forward-looking statements because of the Company's unproven business model, its dependence on new technologies, the uncertainty and timing of clinical trials, the Company's ability to develop and commercialize products, its dependence on collaborators for services and revenue, its substantial indebtedness and lease obligations, its changing requirements and costs associated with facilities, intense competition, the uncertainty of patent and intellectual property protection, the Company's dependence on key management and key suppliers, the uncertainty of regulation of products, the impact of future alliances or transactions and other risks described in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In addition, while the Company has begun shipment of ABthrax to the U.S. Strategic National Stockpile, the Company will continue to face risks related to acceptance of future shipments and FDA's approval of the Company's Biologics License Application for ABthrax, if and when it is submitted. If the Company is unable to meet requirements associated with the ABthrax contract, future revenues from the sale of ABthrax to the U.S. Government will not occur. Existing and prospective investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of today's date. Human Genome Sciences undertakes no obligation to update or revise the information contained in this announcement whether as a result of new information, future events or circumstances or otherwise.
|SOURCE Human Genome Sciences, Inc.|
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