IDEC Pharmaceuticals and Taisho Announce Collaborative Agreement to Develop Antibodies Targeting Inflammatory & Autoimmune Diseases

Business Editors/Health & Medical Writers

(BW HealthWire) — IDEC Pharmaceuticals Corporation (Nasdaq:IDPH) today announced signing a collaborative research and development agreement with Taisho Pharmaceuticals Co. Ltd. to develop and commercialize antibody therapeutics against macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) for the treatment of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.
IDEC researchers have identified high-affinity monoclonal antibodies with potent MIF blocking activity. MIF is a pro-inflammatory mediator, which can override the anti-inflammatory activities of corticosteroids. Thus, blocking of MIF function may provide direct anti-inflammatory activity and enhance the effectiveness of corticosteroid therapies. Anti-MIF antibodies were shown to be effective in preclinical animal models of asthma, glomerulonephritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Anti-MIF antibodies are being developed by IDEC under an exclusive license agreement from Cytokine PharmaSciences, Inc. of West Conshohocken, PA. The original research on MIF was done at the Picower Institute for Medical Research.
“We are pleased to initiate this new partnership with Taisho, one of Japan’s leading pharmaceutical companies,” said Nabil Hanna, Ph.D., IDEC’s chief scientific officer. “This collaboration, our fifth with a Japanese company, allows us to expedite the global development of anti-MIF antibodies of steroid-dependent diseases, such as asthma and glomerulonephritis.”
Under the terms of the research and development agreement, IDEC will develop high-affinity, humanized monoclonal antibodies with the intent to complete Phase I and Phase II clinical trials during the term of the agreement.
The research and development agreement is valued at approximately $35 million, including $18.5 million in fixed R&D funding over the next four years. The remaining value represents patent license reimbursements, license fees and conditional milestones that will be realized, if at all, over the life of the collaboration. IDEC will share any such realized fees or milestones with Cytokine PharmaSciences. IDEC will retain exclusive commercialization rights in North, Central and South America; Taisho will have exclusive commercialization rights in the rest of the world. However, IDEC has the option to convert the above exclusive rights to co-exclusive ones in Europe and other selected countries outside of Asia. Taisho will pay IDEC royalties on sales of therapeutic antibody products in its exclusive territories.
Taisho, headquartered in Tokyo, is the top pharmaceutical company in over-the-counter healthcare products in Japan and continues to expand its sales and research, both internally and through collaborations, in the prescription drug field. Taisho reported approximately 270 billion yen in sales in the last fiscal year (April 1999-March 2000). Taisho is focused on contributing to the maintenance and improvement of consumers’ health by creating and providing quality drugs, related health care products and information services that satisfy consumers with various lifestyles. Taisho is actively strengthening research and development of new products in the prescription drug field and considers collaborations with biopharmaceutical companies as a part of such activities.
IDEC Pharmaceuticals focuses on the commercialization and development of targeted therapies for the treatment of cancer and autoimmune diseases. IDEC’s antibody products act chiefly through immune system mechanisms, exerting their effect by binding to specific, readily targeted immune cells in the patient’s blood or lymphatic systems.
IDEC Pharmaceuticals’ news releases are available at no charge through Business Wire’s News on Demand Plus. For a menu of IDEC’s current news releases and quarterly reports or to retrieve a specific release, call (888) 329-2309. On the Internet check the News Center at IDEC’s website: .

The statements made in this press release contain certain forward-looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Actual events or results may differ from IDEC’s expectations. For example, achievement of product development milestone events and future product sales, the timing, success and cost of product launches and clinical studies, the timing, acceptability and review periods of regulatory filings, the timing of and ability to obtain regulatory approval of products, the level of manufacturing performance and performance of our suppliers, and the risk factors listed from time to time in IDEC’s SEC filings, including but not limited to its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 1999 and Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2000, may affect the actual results achieved by IDEC. These forward-looking statements represent the company’s judgment as of the date of this release. The company disclaims, however, any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

IDEC Pharmaceuticals is the registered U.S. trademark of the company. IDEC’s headquarters is located at 3030 Callan Road, San Diego, CA 92121.

IDEC Pharmaceuticals’ press releases are available at no charge through Business Wire’s News on Demand Plus. For a menu of IDEC’s current press releases and quarterly reports or to retrieve a specific release, call 888/329-2309. On the Internet, check the News Center at IDEC’s website .

--30--jf/sd* CONTACT: IDEC Pharmaceuticals Corporation Vince Reardon, Director, Corporate Communications 858/431-8656 KEYWORD: CALIFORNIA INDUSTRY KEYWORD: BIOTECHNOLOGY MEDICAL MEDICAL DEVICES PHARMACEUTICAL