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IDEC PHARMACEUTICALS TAKES STEPS TO SPEED DEVELOPMENT OF PAN B ANTIBODIES FOR CANCER THERAPY

 IDEC PHARMACEUTICALS TAKES STEPS TO SPEED DEVELOPMENT
 OF PAN B ANTIBODIES FOR CANCER THERAPY
 LA JOLLA and MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Dec. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- IDEC Pharmaceuticals Corp. (NASDAQ: IDPH) announced today that it is taking steps to accelerate the development of pan B antibodies conjugated with the radioisotope yttrium. The company's goal is to enter human clinical studies as soon as possible in 1992 for the treatment of advanced non-Hodgkin's B-cell lymphomas.
 "Yttrium-conjugated pan B antibodies offer an injectable, targeted approach for delivering radiation therapy, and they appear particularly attractive for use against B-cell malignancies," said William H. Rastetter Ph.D., company president and chief executive officer. "Yttrium emits radiation over a very short distance -- less than half an inch -- and it has a relatively short half-life. IDEC's pan B antibodies are designed to specifically target B-cells. By combining yttrium with the antibodies, we hope to develop a potentially safer, more effective therapy than is possible today with external beam radiation."
 B-cell lymphomas are particularly responsive to radiation therapy. IDEC Pharmaceuticals has been conducting human clinical studies on B-cell lymphomas with yttrium-conjugated anti-idiotype antibodies, which have been customized to each patient. The company believes that pan B antibodies, which do not require customization, may be used in a broader patient population.
 In early human clinical studies, IDEC demonstrated the feasibility of pan B radioimmunotherapy using iodine as the radioisotope. Yttrium-conjugated pan B antibodies represent the next step in the clinical development of this technology. Ultimately, pan B antibody products may be designed to provide their own direct anti- tumor activity as well as radiation therapy.
 To help accelerate clinical development, IDEC Pharmaceuticals has expanded the scope of its relationship with Hybritech Inc. to include yttrium-conjugated pan B antibodies. IDEC and Hybritech have been collaborating for some time on
the conjugation of yttrium to antibodies. This collaboration will continue through the end of


1992, with IDEC retaining full rights to the radioconjugated products. At that time, IDEC Pharmaceuticals intends to bring all yttrium conjugation projects in-house and apply its own conjugation technology, which is currently being developed for clinical applications.
 The development of yttrium-conjugated antibodies is complementary to IDEC's strategy for SPECIFID(TM), a panel of antibodies undergoing Phase III human clinical testing for low and intermediate grade non- Hodgkin's B-cell lymphomas. IDEC Pharmaceuticals believes that yttrium-conjugated pan B antibodies may become a treatment of choice for advanced stage lymphomas which do not respond to conventional therapies and may also prove effective against certain other B-cell malignancies.
 IDEC Pharmaceuticals, which operates out of facilities in Mountain View and La Jolla, Calif., is a leader in the development of immunologically active monoclonal antibodies for therapeutic application. The company has four products in ongoing human clinical studies and other products in preclinical testing and research and development. These products are intended to address severe or life- threatening diseases, including immune system cancers (lymphomas and leukemias), malignant melanoma, HIV infection and autoimmune disorders.
 -0- 12/5/91
 /CONTACT: Clifford Orent, senior VP-COO of IDEC Pharmaceuticals, 415-940-1200/
 (IDPH) CO: IDEC Pharmaceuticals Corp. ST: California IN: MTC SU:


AL-EH -- SD001 -- 9617 12/05/91 11:03 EST
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Date:Dec 5, 1991
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