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 FOSTER CITY, Calif., and BOTHELL, Wash., Oct. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Cell Genesys Inc. (NASDAQ: CEGE) and CellPro Inc. (NASDAQ: CPRO) today announced that they have entered into a collaborative research and development agreement to facilitate the initial clinical evaluation of genetically engineered anti-HIV T cells developed by Cell Genesys. The engineered T cells will be modified with Cell Genesys' proprietary universal receptors directed against HIV. CellPro's CEPRATE(R) cell-separation technology will be used to increase the efficiency of T cell purification to provide a consistent product for patient administration.
 Under the terms of the agreement, both companies retain full rights to their own technology and products.
 The Cell Genesys universal receptor program involves the genetic modification of T cells (white blood cells from the immune system), with novel cell-surface receptors that allow the T cells to recognize specific disease targets in multiple patients with that disease. Without these universal receptors, the T cells would be able to recognize the disease target only in the individual from whom the cells were derived, or in closely related individuals. Cell Genesys' lead product development effort in the cell therapy area, for which the company expects to begin initial clinical trials during the next year, involves the production of anti-HIV T cells for the treatment of HIV infection in persons with AIDS.
 The isolation and purification of Cell Genesys' anti-HIV T cells to treat AIDS will be CellPro's first clinical application in the area of immunodeficiency diseases. Prior to the Cell Genesys collaboration, CellPro's clinical focus has been purifying cells expressing the CD34 antigen from blood and bone marrow for transplantation in the treatment of various cancers. CellPro's unique immunoaffinity-based cell- selection system potentially can be used to isolate clinical quantities of any cell type that expresses a specific antigen against which monoclonal antibodies can be developed. CellPro recently concluded a Phase III pivotal trial of its CEPRATE SC System for CD34+ stem cell transplantation in treating metastatic breast cancer. CellPro expects to file for marketing approval from the Food and Drug Administration for that indication in December.
 "This collaboration brings together two companies at the forefront of the new field of cell therapy," said Stephen A. Sherwin, M.D., Cell Genesys' president and chief executive officer. "CellPro's expertise in cell-isolation technology will greatly facilitate the initial clinical evaluation of our novel anti-HIV cell therapy product."
 "We are pleased to enter into a collaboration that has the potential to produce an advance against AIDS," said Richard D. Murdock, CellPro's president and chief executive officer. "This will be our first T cell purification product for clinical applications and illustrates the versatility of our enabling technology. This should be another step toward making cell therapy a reality."
 CellPro Inc. is a biotechnology company specializing in the development, manufacturing and marketing of proprietary, continuous- flow, cell-selection systems for use in a variety of therapeutic, diagnostic and research applications.
 Cell Genesys is a leader in the application of gene targeting technology to the development of human therapeutic products. Gene targeting is a cellular genetic engineering technology that enables precise and permanent activation, inactivation and replacement of specific genes in living cells. The company is applying gene targeting and related technologies to develop products in three areas: universal cell-transplant products, therapeutic protein products and human monoclonal antibody products.
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 /CONTACT: Jack Murphy of Cell Genesys, 415-358-9600, ext. 238; or Lee Parker of CellPro, 206-485-7644/

CO: Cell Genesys Inc.; CellPro Inc. ST: California Washington IN: MTC SU:

LH-TB -- SF005 -- 1122 10/12/93 12:59 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 12, 1993

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