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ONCOLYSIN(R) CD6, IMMUNOGEN'S FOURTH PRODUCT, ENTERS PHASE I HUMAN CLINICAL TRIALS

 CAMBRIDGE, Mass., June 24 /PRNewswire/ -- ImmunoGen, Inc. (NASDAQ: IMGN) today announced the start of human clinical trials of Oncolysin CD6, an immunoconjugate for the treatment of T-cell-related diseases. The initial Phase I study is being conducted in patients with cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. Following the completion of the study, ImmunoGen plans to expand clinical trials of Oncolysin CD6 to assess its efficacy in the prevention of episodes of acute kidney transplant rejection.
 "Oncolysin CD6 is the fourth product ImmunoGen has brought into the clinic successfully," states Mitchel Sayare, chairman and chief executive officer. "It also is our first product with potential major therapeutic applications outside of the treatment of cancer." Oncolysin CD6 is comprised of an anti-CD6 antibody which is chemically linked to blocked ricin, a highly potent derivative of the powerful plant toxin, ricin.
 "The antibody in Oncolysin CD6 targets CD6+ T cells," explains Carol L. Epstein, M.D., ImmunoGen vice president and chief medical officer. "This trial is designed to establish a safety profile for Oncolysin CD6 and also to give us information on the ability of the drug to kill these T cells." Elimination of CD6+ T cells has implications in the treatment of some cancer, such as cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, where T cells proliferate unchecked.
 "CD6+ T cells play a significant role in the immune response," Epstein adds. "We therefore expect our drug also to have applications in the prevention of acute organ transplant rejection and, potentially, in the treatment of autoimmune disorders. For example, it has been shown that elimination of CD6+ T cells from donated bone marrow prevents graft vs. host disease. Other studies using anti-CD6 antibodies alone have demonstrated that these antibodies can prevent kidney rejection in a small but significant percentage of kidney transplant patients. By conjugating our anti-CD6 antibody to blocked ricin, we give it a more potent effector function, which should result in a reduction in the number of episodes of acute organ transplant rejection and an improvement in the success rate of organ transplants. Similarly, we may be able to use Oncolysin CD6 to eliminate the autoreactive T cells that cause autoimmune disorders. Following the initial Phase I trial in cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, we will expand our clinical studies of Oncolysin CD6 into these other areas of interest, beginning with trials in kidney transplant patients."
 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. These immunoconjugates search out and destroy specific populations of cells.
 -0- 6/24/93
 /CONTACT: Mark Ratner, director of external communications, ImmunoGen, 617-661-9312/
 (IMGN)


CO: ImmunoGen, Inc. ST: Massachusetts IN: MTC SU:

DJ -- NE003 -- 5157 06/24/93 08:30 EDT
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Date:Jun 24, 1993
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