Research & Development

What’s to Come
Continuing to fill the development pipeline is a priority with IDEC. Company researchers are carrying out earlier stage research efforts on a variety of fronts to develop innovative new treatments in both cancer and autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.

New Approaches to Fighting Solid Tumors
IDEC is building a strong cancer franchise particularly for the treatment of non-Hodkgin’s lymphoma and certain other blood-borne cancers. Also, the company is developing new therapeutic agents to fight solid tumors.

In the area of cancer, IDEC is developing vaccine approaches to therapy based on the company’s patented PROVAX™ adjuvant technology. Therapeutic vaccines are a new strategy for treating cancer that directs the patient’s own immune system against specific tumor antigens, thus attacking the disease. In particular, we are collaborating with the National Cancer Institute to combine their prostate-specific PAGE antigen with our PROVAX adjuvant in therapeutic vaccines for the treatment of prostate cancer.

IDEC researchers are also applying their expertise in yttrium-labeling to develop new forms of engineered antibodies against antigens expressed preferentially on solid tumors. Smaller than conventional monoclonal antibodies, these engineered antibodies may more effectively penetrate tumors, thus better targeting their radioactive payload. At the same time, the engineered antibodies clear more rapidly from circulation than conventional monoclonals, offering the potential for greater safety to bone marrow and other normal tissues.

New Approaches to Fighting Autoimmune Diseases
IDEC’s research efforts are also aimed at new approaches to treating autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. Anti-macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) antibodies may potentially restore the ability of steroids to treat inflammation in patients with asthma or rheumatoid arthritis who have become resistant to those drugs.

These antibodies target MIF, a substance produced by the immune system that can override the anti-inflammatory activities of natural and administered steroids. By neutralizing MIF, the antibodies may restore the steroid’s therapeutic activity, providing a potentially useful treatment for may autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.