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ADVANCE IN NEW SEPSIS TREATMENT ANNOUNCED

 ADVANCE IN NEW SEPSIS TREATMENT ANNOUNCED
 BERKELEY, Calif., March 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Pharmaceutical products


based on a powerful natural antibiotic are being developed to treat many serious bacterial infections, according to research results being presented this week at a scientific meeting in Lake Tahoe, Calif.
 The products are based on a substance known as bactericidal/ permeability increasing protein (BPI), a human protein that kills most gram-negative bacteria and blunts the toxic fragments of endotoxin, a poison the bacteria release into the bloodstream. Natural BPI and fragments of the protein produced using recombinant DNA technology have been evaluated by scientists at New York University (NYU) Medical Center and XOMA Corp. (NASDAQ/NMS: XOMA).
 Peter Elsbach, M.D., Professor of Medicine and Microbiology at NYU Medical Center, today will present a paper, "Host Protection Against Gram-Negative Bacteria and Endotoxin by the Bactericidal/Permeability Increasing Protein of Neutrophils" to over 350 scientists at the Keystone Symposium on Recognition of Endotoxin in Biologic Systems. In his lecture and in data presentations by XOMA researchers, the symposium attendees will learn that:
 -- The biologically active portion of natural BPI is the 23 kD N-terminal half of the molecule. Identification of the active portion of BPI offers potential advantages in both testing and manufacturing.
 -- The 23kD N-terminal fragment of BPI has been cloned and expressed. Importantly, the recombinantly produced fragment (known as rBPI-23) retains its potent bactericidal properties.
 -- rBPI-23 kills bacteria and inhibits the release of tumor necrosis factor and other cytokines in whole blood, as does whole BPI from natural sources.
 -- The recombinant BPI fragment protects mice from otherwise lethal doses of endotoxin.
 Systemic invasion of gram-negative bacteria and the subsequent endotoxemia result in the disease syndrome of gram-negative sepsis, which often leads to life-threatening complications such as organ failure and shock. Despite potent antibiotic therapy and supportive care, sepsis continues to be responsible for an estimated 70,000 deaths each year in the United States. BPI holds promise in the treatment of sepsis because it binds to the surface of gram-negative bacteria, specifically killing the gram-negative bacteria and neutralizing the endotoxin, a poison that is part of the bacteria.
 BPI was initially isolated from human blood cells in 1978 by Dr. Elsbach and Jerrold Weiss, Ph.D., of NYU. In 1990 NYU entered into a research and license agreement with XOMA for the joint development and testing of BPI and fragments of the protein for human therapeutic use. Under the agreement, NYU licensed to XOMA exclusive rights to BPI and fragments thereof developed by Drs. Elsbach and Weiss. Relevant patent applications are pending in the United States and elsewhere. XOMA and NYU are conducting an intensive research and development program for BPI.
 XOMA Corp. is a leading company in the development of therapeutic products using monoclonal antibody and recombinant DNA technologies.
 -0- 3/2/92
 /CONTACT: Carol D. DeGuzman of XOMA Corp., 510-644-1170; or Diana Dalsass or Mike Millican of Robert Marston and Associates, 212-371-2200, for XOMA Corp./
 (XOMA) CO: XOMA Corporation ST: California IN: MTC SU:


RM -- SF002 -- 3866 03/02/92 10:39 EST
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Date:Mar 2, 1992
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