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IMMUNOGEN, INC. AND DANA-FARBER CANCER INSTITUTE ANNOUNCE NEW VENTURE

 CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Jan. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- ImmunoGen, Inc. (NASDAQ: IMGN) today announced the formation of Apoptosis Technology, Inc. (ATI), founded on technology developed at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston. The company will develop therapeutics based on the regulation of programmed cell death, or apoptis, the natural, orderly process by which cells in the body die or are killed. The announcement was made at the Hambrecht & Quist Eleventh Annual Life Sciences Conference in San Francisco.
 ImmunoGen expects that, over the next several years, research at ATI will yield a flow of new product candidates which ImmunoGen will have the option to commercialize. "The therapeutic applications for the research initiated at Dana-Farber are wide reaching," states Mitchel Sayare, ImmunoGen chairman and CEO. "Our investment in ATI places ImmunoGen at the leading edge of an extraordinary, potentially prolific area of research and development."
 Based on its understanding of how apoptosis is triggered in cells, ATI is expected to pursue a number of therapeutic areas, either alone or with partners. These include cancer, viral diseases, autoimmune disorders, transplant rejection, tissue hypertrophy/atrophy, neurodegenerative disorders and inflammation. "Many diseases may be treated by regulating the pathway leading to apoptosis," explains Walter Blattler, ImmunoGen vice president, Research. "In cancer, for example, tumor cells proliferate unchecked. This may be traced to a failure in the apoptosis pathway which normally would signal the death of these cells. In other diseases, we may be able to inhibit apoptosis to prevent the death of certain cell types."
 A key to the new company's research is the availability of apoptosin, a protein that triggers apoptosis in cells. Apoptosin was discovered in Dana-Farber's Division of Tumor Immunology by Paul Anderson, M.D., Stuart Schlossman, M.D., and Michel Streuli, Ph.D. They have cloned the gene for apoptosin, which is delivered inside cells by cytolytic T lymphocytes or so-called killer cells. The protein also has been purified and can be expressed in quantity. "Having in hand a protein responsible for triggering apoptosis, " Blattler notes, "gives ATI a clear advantage in the development of ways to regulate apoptosis."
 In the near term, ATI will develop methodologies for the directed delivery of apoptosin to cells. "ImmunoGen," Sayare points out, "already is a leader in the targeted delivery of potent toxins to cancer cells." ATI also will explore how regulation of the apoptosin gene may trigger or inhibit apoptosis and will pursue development of rationally designed small drugs which can trigger or inhibit apoptosis. "ATI also will benefit from the long-standing scientific relationship between ImmunoGen and Dana Farber," Sayare observes. "Our early research and development of highly potent monoclonal antibody-toxin conjugates was conducted there and we have maintained a prodabilities in bringing products into the clinic will give ATI a considerable edge in the development of innovative therapeutics."
 Under the terms of the agreement establishing ATI, ImmunoGen will contribute capital to ATI which will be used to fund research both at Dana-Farber and at ImmunoGen and to defray operating costs. In exchange, ImmunoGen initially will own 70 percent of ATI and will have a right of first refusal for all therapeutic applications of the products developed by the company. ATI scientific advisors, management and others will hold the remaining 30 percent. Initially, ImmunoGen will manage ATI. Dana-Farber will license to the venture the apoptosis- related technology, including patent rights to the apoptosin protein.
 ImmunoGen, Inc. develops innovative therapeutics for the treatment of cancer and immune-mediated diseases. The company produces proprietary toxins conjugated to highly specific targeting agents which search out and destroy cancer cells. The company's first-generation products, the Oncolysins(R), are each comprised of a highly specific monoclonal antibody linked to blocked ricin, a proprietary derivative of the powerful plant toxin, ricin.
 -0- 1/12/93
 /CONTACT: Mark Ratner of ImmunoGen, Inc., 617-661-9312; Hallie Baron of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, 617-632-4090/
 (IMGN)


CO: ImmunoGen, Inc.; Dana-Farber Cancer Institute ST: Massachusetts IN: MTC SU: JVN

TM -- NE013 -- 4049 01/12/93 12:50 EST
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Date:Jan 12, 1993
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