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BAXTER, CANTAB SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETE PHASE I/II TRIALS FOR DRUG THAT REDUCES REJECTION IN ORGAN TRANSPLANTS

 DEERFIELD, Ill., March 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Baxter International and Cantab Pharmaceuticals plc. announced today that they have successfully completed a multicenter Phase I/II clinical trial for anti-CD45, a drug that is being studied as a preventative for acute organ rejection following kidney-transplant surgery. Anti-CD45 is a unique drug that is administered to the donor kidney before surgery. The study was conducted at four major transplant centers in the United Kingdom.
 "This trial was designed to obtain preliminary safety data," said Alan Munro, Ph.D., founder and chief scientific officer of Cantab. "The results show that the product was well tolerated by transplant recipients. The study also showed a positive correlation between the binding of anti-CD45 to the kidney prior to transplantation and reduced rejection episodes."
 Researchers will present full results of the trial at the annual meeting of the British Transplant Society on April 6-7, 1993, in Exeter, England.
 "Baxter is encouraged by these studies," said Don Joseph, president of Baxter's Renal Division. "We are committed to continuing anti-CD45's development. Our goal is to bring to transplant-physicians and their patients the most effective treatment methodology."
 "We intend to start Phase II/III clinical trials this year to determine optimal treatment methods and confirm the safety and efficacy of anti-CD45 in preventing kidney-transplant rejection," said Paul Haycock, M.D., Cantab's president and chief executive officer.
 Every year, more than 20,000 people around the world undergo kidney transplants. More than half of these patients suffer episodes of acute rejection of the transplanted organ. Such rejection occurs when the patient's immune system recognizes the transplanted kidney as foreign tissue and works to destroy it.
 Scientists believe the rejection response is caused in part by the kidney's dendritic cells, which carry a protein known as the CD45 antigen. Researchers at Cantab have developed a pair of monoclonal antibodies that bind to the CD45 antigen and destroy the dendritic cells. By injecting the donor kidney with the monoclonal-antibody pair (anti-CD45) prior to transplantation, researchers hope to prevent rejection of the kidney, eliminating costly post-operative treatments and extended hospital stays associated with acute rejection episodes.
 Baxter International, through its subsidiaries, is the leading manufacturer and marketer of health-care products, systems and services worldwide. The company, based in Deerfield, Ill., offers more than 120,000 products to health-care providers in 100 countries and has research and development programs in biotechnology, diagnostics, cardiovascular medicine, renal therapy and other medical fields.
 Cantab is engaged in the research and development of biopharmaceuticals that use the highly selective properties of the immune system to treat disease. The company has research and development programs in two principal areas: Leucocyte Modulators, which regulate or block immune-system function, and Therapeutic Antigens, which activate specific immune responses. Cantab's initial therapeutic focus includes research programs in the prevention of organ- transplant rejection, the treatment of Crohn's disease and cervical cancer as well as work on genital herpes. The company has established collaborations with Baxter, Cambridge University and with researchers at several other British academic institutions.
 -0- 3/3/93
 /CONTACT: Paul Haycock, M.D., of Cantab Pharmaceuticals, 011-44-223-423213; Anthony Russo, Ph.D., Noonan/Russo, 212-979-9180, for Cantab Pharmaceuticals; or Geoffrey D. Fenton of Baxter, 708-948-3436; Mary Curtin, for Baxter, 212-685-1900/
 (BAX)


CO: Baxter International; Cantab Pharmaceuticals plc ST: Illinois IN: MTC SU:

LR -- NY070 -- 2567 03/03/93 15:12 EST
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Date:Mar 3, 1993
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