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SOMATIX RECEIVES EXCLUSIVE WORLDWIDE LICENSE ON CANCER GENE THERAPY PATENT APPLICATION

 SOMATIX RECEIVES EXCLUSIVE WORLDWIDE LICENSE
 ON CANCER GENE THERAPY PATENT APPLICATION
 ALAMEDA, Calif., June 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Somatix Therapy Corp. (NASDAQ: SOMA) today announced that it has received an exclusive worldwide license to certain patent rights in the area of gene therapy from The Johns Hopkins University and The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. The patent rights cover methods for using a patient's genetically modified tumor cells to stimulate an immune response against cancer.
 In this approach to cancer treatment, tumor cells would be removed from the patient and genetically modified to produce certain proteins, or lymphokines. When these genetically modified tumor cells are injected into the patient, they should stimulate the immune system to recognize certain components of the tumor cell, called antigens, resulting in the selective destruction of cancer cells throughout the body that share these same antigens. This new gene therapy approach was co-developed by scientists at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center and The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.
 Results of small animal studies have suggested that this approach can be used to destroy established tumors and immunize the animal against recurrences of the same tumor. Experiments to date have shown similar results with a variety of different tumor types. Somatix is conducting its cancer program in collaboration with Drew Pardoll, M.D., Ph.D., of The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and Richard Mulligan, Ph.D., of the Whitehead Institute at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The company anticipates filing an investigational New Drug application for the initiation of Phase I clinical trials at the end of 1992. Dr. Pardoll, who is collaborating with Somatix, will be a key participant in the clinical evaluation of its cancer technology.
 According to David W. Carter, Somatix chief executive officer, "This exclusive, worldwide license is an important addition to the licenses we already hold for patents covering genetically modified epithelial cells, the cell type from which most cancers are derived. We believe the combination of the two licenses strengthens the company's proprietary position in the use of gene therapy to treat cancer." Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States. Most current cancer therapies are limited by their toxicity and lack of selectivity, resulting in the destruction of healthy cells along with malignant ones. Somatix believes that gene therapy has the potential to overcome these limitations because it is designed to target and destroy only tumor cells.
 Somatix Therapy Corp. is a scientific leader in the emerging field of gene therapy. The company is focused on the genetic modification of selected human cells to enable the production and delivery of therapeutic substances within the patient's body. Somatix believes that gene therapy, which requires gene transfer technology, will provide a safe and effective means of delivering many therapeutic substances. Somatix has gene therapy programs in cancer, central nervous system diseases and hemophilia.
 -0- 6/16/92
 /CONTACT: Julie Wood of Somatix Therapy, 510-748-3082/
 (SOMA) CO: Somatix Therapy Corp. ST: California IN: MTC SU: LIC


MM -- SF001 -- 0527 06/16/92 09:30 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 16, 1992
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