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ALEXION PHARMACEUTICALS LICENSES GROWTH FACTOR FOR DEVELOPMENT OF TRANSGENIC ANIMALS FROM EMBRYONIC STEM CELLS

 NEW HAVEN, Conn., Sept. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Alexion Pharmaceuticals today announced it has obtained a worldwide exclusive license for the use of LIF (Leukemia Inhibitory Factor) in the production of transgenic animals from embryonic stem cells for purposes of cultivating transgenic animal organs and cells for human transplantation.
 Alexion expects LIF to play an important role in several of its product development programs when coupled with the company's proprietary genetic engineering technologies. "LIF is the only known growth factor to independently and stably maintain embryonic stem cells in an undifferentiated state. Such stem cells can then be efficiently engineered with gene targeting and other technologies prior to development into the adult animal," said Stephen Squinto, senior director of molecular sciences at Alexion. "We believe this will be a very important piece of the technology puzzle as we utilize embryonic stem cell technologies for the production of transgenic animals."
 Alexion has concluded the license arrangement with AMRAD Corporation Ltd. of Australia which has several issued patents and patent applications with respect to the effects of LIF on embryonic stem cells. "AMRAD is a well-respected entity within the biotechnology community due to its strong alliances with Australia's leading biomedical research institutes, which are proven innovators in the field," added Squinto. "We are very pleased that AMRAD shares our confidence in the development program we are pursuing."
 In concert with its proprietary anti-rejection technologies, Alexion intends to capitalize on transgenic technologies to develop products for organ transplantation and prevention of restenosis and may ultimately use the same approach to generate the endothelial cells which form the basis of the company's Encel protein drug delivery system.
 AMRAD Corporation Limited is a leading Australian company established to commercialize Australian biomedical research.
 Alexion Pharmaceuticals, founded in January 1992, is a private biopharmaceutical company headquartered in New Haven, concentrating on the research and development of novel biopharmaceuticals, cell and tissue therapies, and protein drug delivery systems.
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 /CONTACT: Leonard Bell, M.D., president and CEO, or David Keiser, executive VP and COO of Alexion Pharmaceuticals, 203-776-1790; or Anthony J. Russo of Noonan/Russo Communications, 212-696-9180/


CO: Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ST: Connecticut IN: MTC SU: LIC

SM-SH -- NY043 -- 1290 09/13/93 12:05 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 13, 1993
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