Abgenix Reaches Milestone In Antibody Collaboration With Amgen,


Abgenix, Inc. (NASDAQ: ABGX) today announced that Amgen Inc. (Amgen) has advanced into clinical trials a fully human antibody generated with Abgenix’s technology. This milestone triggers an undisclosed payment to Abgenix.

"We are pleased with the productivity of our collaboration with Amgen, which has resulted in the rapid advancement of this product candidate. Four fully human antibodies derived from Abgenix technology are in human clinical trials, including two of our own," said R. Scott Greer, chairman and chief executive officer of Abgenix. "We believe our fully human antibody platform will continue to provide new and important antibody therapies for various diseases."

Abgenix’s research collaboration with Amgen began in April 1999 for Abgenix to use its technology to generate fully human monoclonal antibody candidates to undisclosed antigen targets supplied by Amgen during the five-year term of the alliance. Amgen will be responsible for product development, manufacturing and marketing of any products developed through the collaboration. Abgenix will receive upfront research payments and could receive license fees, milestone payments plus royalties on any future product sales by Amgen.

Antibodies are naturally occurring proteins used by the body’s immune system to combat many diseases. As therapeutic products, antibodies have several potential advantages over other therapies. The highly specific interaction between an antibody and its target may, for example, reduce unwanted side effects that may occur with other therapies. Fully human antibodies are desirable because they avoid the risk of rejection present with mouse or partial mouse antibodies.

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