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WEHI Spin-Out MuriGen Restructures G-CSF Antagonist Program With CSL
Date:10/27/2008

MELBOURNE, Australia, Oct. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- MuriGen Therapeutics today announced that its collaboration with CSL for the development of a new class of drugs that target arthritis and other inflammatory diseases has been restructured.

The collaboration was initially established in February 2006 by MuriGen Therapeutics and Zenyth Therapeutics Limited (now part of CSL Limited) and is developing therapeutic antibodies that inhibit the activity of the cytokine granulocyte colony stimulating factor (G-CSF).

The collaboration built on the discovery by Professor Ian Wicks, a clinical rheumatologist at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute (WEHI) that antagonism of G-CSF or its receptor could ameliorate inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Under the terms of the restructure, CSL will now take full control of the program, including development and commercialisation of any potential drugs arising from the program. In return, MuriGen will receive certain payments - the details of which are undisclosed.

Dr Nick Samaras, MuriGen's Chief Executive Officer, said, "We are extremely pleased that the further development of the G-CSF inflammatory disease program will be conducted by an Australian biopharmaceutical partner with the expertise and capability that CSL provide. This partnership is another major milestone for MuriGen and is further evidence of the high quality portfolio the company has in-licensed from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute. MuriGen will continue to focus on its other programs, including the development of a novel class of antiapoptotic compounds."

"This is an important step in the translation of the Institute's intellectual property," explains Dr Julian Clark, Head of Business Development at WEHI. Clark continues, "Starfish Ventures' investment in MuriGen enabled us to bring this project to a stage where CSL can now use their considerable resources and track record to progress development towards the c
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SOURCE Walter and Eliza Hall Institute
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