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CELL GENESYS AND BIO-TECHNOLOGY GENERAL TO COLLABORATE ON NOVEL CELL THERAPY FOR CYTOMEGALOVIRUS INFECTION

 CELL GENESYS AND BIO-TECHNOLOGY GENERAL TO COLLABORATE
 ON NOVEL CELL THERAPY FOR CYTOMEGALOVIRUS INFECTION
 FOSTER CITY, Calif., and NEW YORK, Sept. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Cell Genesys Inc. today announced it has signed a collaborative agreement with Bio-Technology General Corp. (NASDAQ: BTGC) through which Cell Genesys will develop novel T cell transplant products for the treatment of cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection, a potentially life-threatening infection in patients with immunodeficiency disease. The agreement grants Cell Genesys an exclusive worldwide license to Bio-Technology General's anti-CMV antibodies for the development of T cell transplant products for the treatment of CMV infection. In exchange, Bio-Technology General will receive licensing fees and royalty payments.
 As an initial step toward the development of a T cell transplant product for CMV infection, Cell Genesys is genetically modifying human T cells to have increased specificity against CMV. T cells are a type of white blood cell which comprise a major component of the body's immune defense mechanism against certain types of infection and malignancy. The administration of these modified T cells to patients with underlying immune deficiency may provide a new therapeutic strategy for the treatment of serious infections such as CMV. For example, a T cell transplant product with specificity against CMV could target cells actively infected with the virus and potentially eliminate sites of persistent infection. However, the therapeutic benefit of an anti-CMV T cell transplant product has not yet been demonstrated in human clinical testing, which Cell Genesys does not expect to begin until 1994 or later.
 Cell Genesys' strategy to produce a T cell transplant product targeted against CMV involves the use of human monoclonal antibodies that are reactive against CMV. Bio-Technology General has developed a number of human monoclonal antibodies directed against several different components of CMV. By means of genetic engineering technology, Cell Genesys will use components of these antibodies to create T cell transplant products with a high degree of specificity for CMV infected cells. Moreover, Cell Genesys believes that the genetic modifications to these anti-CMV cells could allow them to function on a universal basis in the majority of patients with CMV infection who receive them.
 "Gaining access to Bio-Technology General's valuable portfolio of anti-CMV antibodies is an important step forward in the development of our anti-CMV cell transplant product," said Stephen A. Sherwin, M.D., president and chief executive officer of Cell Genesys. "We believe a T cell transplant product may provide a new approach to the therapy of CMV infection and may provide insight into the development of similar treatment strategies for other serious infections and malignancies in patients with immunodeficiency."
 "Any new, effective CMV therapy that emerges from our collaboration with Cell Genesys will represent a significant advance in the treatment of this serious disease," stated Sim Fass, president and chief executive officer of Bio-Technology General Corp. "We are confident that the product development goals of both companies will be substantially furthered by this relationship."
 Cell Genesys Inc., with headquarters in Foster City, Calif., is a privately held biotechnology company which is a pioneer in the application of gene targeting technology to the development of human therapeutic health care products. The company is using gene targeting and related technologies to develop universal cell transplant products as well as human therapeutic protein and human monoclonal antibody products.
 Bio-Technology General Corp. is engaged in the research, development and manufacturing of genetically engineered products for animal and human health care. The company's headquarters are located in New York City.
 -0- 9/14/92
 /CONTACT: Stephen A. Sherwin, M.D., president and CEO of Cell Genesys, 415-358-9600, ext. 212; or Sim Fass, president and CEO of Bio-Technology General, 212-239-0450/
 (BTGC) CO: Cell Genesys Inc.; Bio-Technology General Corp. ST: California, New York IN: MTC SU: LIC


TM-SC -- SF006 -- 9190 09/14/92 13:28 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 14, 1992
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