Abgenix, Inc. (Nasdaq: ABGX) and Agensys, Inc., a
privately-held biotechnology company, announced today a research collaboration, option and license agreement under which the
parties will use Abgenix’s human antibody technologies to discover and develop fully human monoclonal antibody therapies
against selected cancer antigen targets supplied by Agensys. Agensys’ proprietary portfolio of cancer antigens includes antigens
associated with prostate, kidney, bladder, lung, colon and ovarian cancers.
Under the terms of the multi-product agreement, Agensys has option rights to obtain exclusive product licenses for up to 25
antigen targets during the collaboration’s five-year term. For each selected antigen, Abgenix will receive research license
payments, and could receive additional fees and milestone payments, as well as royalties on any future product sales by
Agensys. Agensys will be responsible for product development, manufacturing, and commercialization of any products developed
through the collaboration.
"We are excited to enter this alliance with Agensys to generate fully human antibody candidates to their large portfolio of novel,
clinically relevant cancer antigens," stated R. Scott Greer, chairman and chief executive officer of Abgenix. "This collaboration
demonstrates our ongoing efforts in offering cancer patients new treatment options."
"Agensys’ alliance with Abgenix will allow us to drive forward the development of numerous antibody products based on our
proprietary cancer antigens," said Donald B. Rice, chief executive officer of Agensys. "We’re most pleased to collaborate with
Abgenix and its top notch technology for making fully human antibodies."
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.