IDEC Pharmaceuticals Expands Oncology Pipeline With Two Novel Investigational Immunotherapies for Prostate Cancer

Business Editors/Health & Medical Writers

(BW HealthWire) — IDEC Pharmaceuticals Corporation (Nasdaq:IDPH) today announced the signing of exclusive patent and technology license agreements with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the University of Iowa Research Foundation (UIRF), strengthening the Company’s oncology pipeline by developing new investigational immunotherapies for prostate cancer.
Under the terms of the NCI license agreement, which was preceded by a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA), IDEC has been granted an exclusive worldwide license for the use of PAGE-4 plasmid DNA and PAGE-4 protein for the development and commercialization of a therapeutic vaccine to treat human prostate cancer.
Under the terms of the UIRF license agreement, IDEC has been granted an exclusive, worldwide license for the use of a prostate-specific, surface-reactive monoclonal antibody, named 5E10, for evaluation as a potential therapy of prostate carcinoma.
“Our oncology strategy involves capitalizing on recent advances in genomics and bioinformatics while leveraging IDEC’s core expertise and experience in oncology, monoclonal antibody and radioimmunotherapy technologies,” said Nabil Hanna, Ph.D., IDEC’s chief scientific officer. “We anticipate developing PAGE-4 antigen with our patented PROVAX(TM) adjuvant technology as a therapeutic cancer vaccine and we intend to radiolabel an engineered form of the 5E10 monoclonal antibody with Yttrium 90 for effective targeting of the radioisotope to prostate cancer cells. This is the same radioisotope we used in our Phase III clinical trials for the investigational agent Zevalin(TM) (Ibritumomab tiuxetan), for which IDEC anticipates filing a Biologics License Application in the fourth quarter 2000.”

Prostate Cancer’s Prevalence

Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in men, with an estimated 31,900 deaths in 2000, according to the American Cancer Society. The ACS also estimates that 180,400 new cases in the United States will be diagnosed in 2000.
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, the timing, success and cost of pre-clinical research and clinical studies, the timing, acceptability and review periods for regulatory filings, the timing of and ability to obtain regulatory approval of products, the achievement of future product sales, the level of manufacturing performance 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, 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 a registered U.S. trademark of the company. PROVAX and ZEVALIN are trademarks of the company. The company’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 Web site .