Printer Friendly

BAXTER, WEIZMANN INSTITUTE FINALIZE RESEARCH ALLIANCE AND EXCLUSIVE LICENSE FOR CANCER-FIGHTING IMMUNE-CELL TECHNOLOGY

 DEERFIELD, Ill., Jan. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Baxter International (NYSE: BAX) and the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel announced today that they have entered an exclusive licensing and collaborative research agreement for unique immune-cell technology developed by Weizmann researchers. Baxter's Biotech Group will use the technology covered under the agreement to develop gene-therapy and immunotherapy products and systems.
 Initially, the technology will be applied in the treatment of breast and colon cancer.
 The four-year research and development agreement was reached between Baxter and Yeda Research and Development Co., the Israeli company that holds title to all inventions derived from Weizmann Institute investigations. Under terms of the agreement, Yeda could receive future licensing fees and royalties from Baxter.
 The technology covered under the agreement relates the work of Weizmann Institute researcher Professor Zelig Eshhar and involves genetic modifications of T lymphocytes to produce a specific cell -- called a T body -- that can be used to fight cancer.
 T lymphocytes, also known as T cells, are immune cells that are formed in the bone marrow and develop to maturity in the thymus -- hence the name "T" cell. Their major function in the body is to destroy and reject foreign invaders, including malignant cells. Under normal conditions, receptors located on the surface of T cells seek out and kill abnormal cells before they grow out of control. In various cases, however, some tumor cells are not recognized by T cells and escape the immune response, and thus develop into cancer.
 Using genetic-engineering techniques Professor Eshhar has combined the specificity of anti-tumor monoclonal antibodies with the effective killing (cytotoxic) activity of T cells. This new biotechnology procedure was developed by the Weizmann researchers and is termed the "T-body" approach. After modification, the genetically engineered T cells originally taken from patient, are reinfused into the patient's bloodstream in a treatment known as autologous ex-vivo cellular therapy.
 "The Weizmann research demonstrates that the cancer-recognition capability of an antibody can be effectively transferred to a T lymphocyte," said Dennis Chenoweth, M.D., Ph.D., vice president for research at the Baxter's Biotech Group's Immunotherapy Division. "We are confident that this research will produce therapies that will allow clinicians to engineer a specific immune response to cellular abnormalities found in cancer and infectious diseases such as AIDS.
 The Weizmann observations also suggest that T lymphocytes can be genetically altered to deliver therapeutic doses of drugs to cells throughout the body, opening the possibility of developing effective cellular drug-delivery systems."
 A separate team of researchers, led by Yosef Yarden, Ph.D., is studying the molecules that are found on the surface of stem cells, the building blocks of the entire immune system. Baxter also will support Dr. Yarden's research to increase the basic understanding of human stem cell biology and to expand Baxter's immunotherapy research initiatives.
 The agreement with the Weizmann Institute is one of several collaborative efforts that support Baxter's research programs in cancer, immunotherapy, gene therapy and diagnostics. The Weizmann/Baxter agreement, taken together with Baxter's recent licensure of Enzon Inc.'s single-chain antibody technology, provides Baxter with the core technologies needed to expand the company's stem-cell-selection and bone-marrow-transplantation programs.
 The Weizmann Institute of Science is recognized as one of the world's leading research institutions. It is located on a 300-acre campus near Tel Aviv and has a staff of 2,500 including 300 tenured professors.
 Baxter has a longstanding relationship with the Weizmann Institute. In 1978, the Weizmann Institute established the William B. Graham Chair in Pharmacology, an endowed chair in honor of Baxter's senior chairman. Baxter has also purchased from the Weizmann Institute monoclonal- antibody cell lines used in Baxter's diagnostics research initiatives.
 Baxter International, headquartered in Deerfield, is the leading manufacturer and marketer of health-care products, systems and services worldwide. The company 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. Baxter's Biotech Group is working collaboratively with strategic partners to develop curative therapies in the areas of cancer, blood therapy and genetic disorders.
 -0- 01/14/93
 /CONTACT: Geoffrey D. Fenton of Baxter International, 708-948-3436, Julie Osler of Weizmann/NY, 212-779-2500; or Mary Curtin of Wang Associates, 212-685-1900, for Baxter/
 (BAX)


CO: Baxter International; Weizmann Institute of Science ST: Illinois IN: MTC SU:

AH -- NY083 -- 5095 01/14/93 17:33 EST
COPYRIGHT 1993 PR Newswire Association LLC
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 14, 1993
Words:728
Previous Article:ANHEUSER-BUSCH TO DONATE CANNED WATER TO ARIZONA FLOOD VICTIMS
Next Article:S&P'S STOCK PRICE INDEX -- CLOSING, THURSDAY, JAN. 14 /PRN/
Topics:


Related Articles
SOMATIX RECEIVES EXCLUSIVE WORLDWIDE LICENSE ON CANCER GENE THERAPY PATENT APPLICATION
RIBI IMMUNOCHEM AND LIDAK PHARMACEUTICALS TO COLLABORATE ON POTENTIAL SECOND-GENERATION THERACCINE TECHNOLOGY
LIDAK PHARMACEUTICALS AND RIBI IMMUNOCHEM RESEARCH COLLABORATE ON POTENTIAL CANCER VACCINE
BAXTER FORMS GENE THERAPY UNIT
THE IMMUNE RESPONSE CORPORATION'S LICENSED TECHNOLOGY SHOWN TO ERADICATE BRAIN TUMOR CELLS IN LABORATORY ANIMALS
Johns Hopkins Assures Department of Health & Human Services That Patient Access to Stem Cell Selection Technology Is Not at Risk
VIMRX and Baxter Sign Letter of Intent To Form New Cell Therapies Business
Introgen Therapeutics Retains Exclusive Worldwide License To the mda7 Gene for Use in All Gene Therapy Applications.
Pall And Viragen Sign Agreement To Recover White Blood Cells From Blood Filters; Discarded Leukocytes Are Potential Source For Treating Hepatitis C.
Scotland awards grant to Viragen for cancer research.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2016 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters