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ALEXION PHARMACEUTICALS LICENSES PORCINE EMBRYONIC STEM CELLS FOR TRANSGENIC ANIMALS

 NEW HAVEN, Conn., Sept. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Alexion Pharmaceuticals today announced it has entered into an agreement to become worldwide exclusive licensee of porcine embryonic stem cells and related technologies for the production of transgenic animals whose organs and cells can be used for human transplantation.
 Alexion expects that this technology acquisition will play an important role in its programs designed to produce genetically modified animals whose organs and cells can be used for human transplantation without rejection by the patient recipient. "The development of porcine embryonic stem cells is potentially a breakthrough discovery in the development of transgenic technology," said Dr. Stephen Squinto, senior director of molecular sciences at Alexion. Dr. Squinto explained, "Previously, embryonic stem cells were available only for the murine species. We believe this discovery will allow not only the efficient, commercial production of transgenic swine but also allows, for the first time, the application of gene targeting technology to the production of transgenic pigs."
 In concert with its proprietary technologies which target cell and antibody-mediated rejection, Alexion intends to develop the embryonic stem cell technology for the commercialization of 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 firm's Encel protein drug delivery system.
 Alexion has concluded the license agreement with Biotechnology Research and Development Corporation (BRDC), a biotechnology research consortium, which sponsored the research. In addition, Alexion purchased equity in BRDC and Dr. Leonard Bell, president and chief executive officer of Alexion, was elected a director of BRDC. "We are very pleased that the BRDC, which is controlled by its shareholder members who are dominant firms in the high-technology, chemical and pharmaceutical industries, shares our confidence in Alexion's development programs. In turn, we will now aggressively assist BRDC in the commercialization of its technologies," said Dr. Bell.
 Members of BRDC, in addition to Alexion, include American Cyanamid Company, Amoco Technology Company, Hewlett-Packard Company, Mallinckrodt, Inc., The Dow Chemical Company, IMCERA Group, Inc., and Agricultural Research and Development Corporation.
 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.
 -0- 9/28/93
 /CONTACT: Leonard Bell, M.D., president and CEO, or David Keiser, executive vice president and COO of Alexion Pharmaceuticals, 203-776-1790, or Anthony J. Russo, Ph.D. of Noonan/Russo Communications, 212-696-4455/


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

MP-PS -- NY031 -- 6285 09/28/93 10:15 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 28, 1993
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