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Tanabe Research Labs Enters R&D Partnership with Anaphore to Develop Novel Protein Pharmaceuticals for Autoimmune Disorders

SAN DIEGO, Dec. 13, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Tanabe Research Laboratories U.S.A. Inc., (TRL) announced today that it has entered into a partnership with Anaphore Inc. for the research and preclinical development of novel protein therapies for autoimmune diseases based on Anaphore's proprietary Atrimer™ technology.

TRL and Anaphore will generate novel trivalent proteins called Atrimers that can be programmed to bind to and activate or inhibit targets of interest. The partnership will focus on strategies to develop biologic therapies for autoimmune disorders such as, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and psoriasis. TRL and Anaphore will commence the research and development alliance immediately.

TRL is a San Diego based subsidiary of Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma and, in mid 2010, TRL refocused its efforts on the discovery and development of biological drugs for therapy of immune disorders. Late stage development and commercialization of lead products will be carried out by the parent company Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma.  

"This collaboration with Anaphore will allow TRL to consolidate its position in autoimmune disease research and allow us to bring a new generation of biologics to physicians and their patients," said Dr. Roland Newman, Chief Scientific Officer, TRL. "We anticipate an exciting and fruitful relationship with Anaphore utilizing their Atrimer technology and capitalizing on the promising work Anaphore has already done."

"We look forward to working with TRL and Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma as partners that will utilize Anaphore's Atrimer™ technology to improve therapy in a wide range of diseases," said Katherine Bowdish, Ph.D., Anaphore's Chief Executive Officer. "TRL has a strong and dedicated team of research scientists and in Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma we will have a partner with a record of success in the biologics market and a commitment to advancing a new class of protein therapeutics for immune-system disorders."

About Anaphore

Anaphore is developing a new class of protein pharmaceuticals to address significant unmet medical needs for patients with serious diseases. The company's Atrimer technology platform originates in tetranectin, a human plasma protein of trivalent structure. Atrimers™ potentially offer biological, manufacturing, and commercial advantages over currently marketed therapies. Atrimer protein therapeutics are protected by intellectual property including multiple patent families. Anaphore's initial therapeutic focus is immunology and oncology. In collaboration with select partners, Anaphore is committed to realizing the full promise of Atrimers™ against targets in a wide range of therapeutic areas, including rare diseases.

About Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation

Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation is a research-driven pharmaceutical company based in Japan, specializing in research, development and marketing of globally competitive pharmaceutical products focused on the immune and inflammatory field, and the metabolism and cardiovascular field.  Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma contributes to the healthier lives of people around the world through the creation of pharmaceuticals.

About Tanabe Research Laboratories U.S.A., Inc.

TRL is an independent subsidiary of Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation whose role is to discover and develop potential biological drug candidates for therapy in autoimmune diseases.

Currently, TRL's efforts will be directed towards antibody and antibody related research to target specific immune cells and soluble factors, as well as investigating new methods for modulating immune cell functions. TRL will establish collaborative relationships with other companies and academic research organizations to further its goals of identifying lead preclinical compounds for further development and to consolidate its presence in immunology.

CONTACT:  Roland Newman, 858.622.7033,

SOURCE Tanabe Research Laboratories
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