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GENETICS INSTITUTE - YAMANOUCHI JOINT VENTURE TO MARKET rhIL-11 IN JAPAN

 CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Nov. 19 ~PRNewswire~ -- Genetics Institute, Inc. (NASDAQ: GENIZ) announced today that it has licensed Japanese development and marketing rights for recombinant human interleukin 11 (rhIL-11) to GI-Yamanouchi, Inc., its joint venture with Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. in Japan. The joint venture, which was formed in 1990 and is equally owned by Genetics Institute and Yamanouchi, also holds Japanese marketing rights for Genetics
Institute's lead bone growth factor, BMP-2. Genetics Institute retains all U.S. commercial rights and worldwide manufacturing rights for both products.
 Genetics Institute has recently commenced human clinical studies with rhIL-11 in the U.S. The Genetics Institute-Yamanouchi joint venture plans to initiate clinical testing or rhIL-11 in Japan in 1993.
 "We feel that rhIL-11 is unique in its ability to stimulate platelet and neutrophil recovery in preclinical models that mimic high dose chemotherapy. It could provide a valuable therapy for cancer patients treated with chemotherapy and bone marrow transplant," said Dr. Patrick Gage, executive vice president for Genetics Institute. "Genetics Institute has established a reputation for scientific excellence, particularly in the blood cell growth factor field. This factor, rhIL- 11, is the most recent example of our ability to discover and develop blood cell growth factors with exciting potential for treating cancer, infectious disease, and blood cell disorders," Gage added.
 A naturally-occurring human protein that is normally present in the body only in minute quantities, rhIL-11 is believed to play an important role in the formation and maturation of certain types of blood cells. Through recombinant DNA technology, Genetics Institute can produce pure rhIL-11 in quantities sufficient to evaluate it as a therapeutic agent.
 Studies in preclinical models have shown that rhIL-11 can stimulate the production and maturation of both platelets and neutrophils, offering the potential to treat both thrombocytopenia (low platelet counts) and neutropenia (low white blood cell counts) associated with dose-intensive chemotherapy regimens in cancer therapy. For patients undergoing cancer chemotherapy or suffering from low platelet or neutrophil counts due to other conditions, rhIL-11 may diminish the need for platelet transfusions and decrease the incidence of infection. Currently there is no product on the market that stimulates the production and maturation of platelets.
 Genetics Institute is a leading biopharmaceutical firm engaged in the discovery and development of human pharmaceuticals through recombinant DNA and other technologies. The company is developing three pharmaceuticals for commercialization in the U.S. in the mid 1990's. These products are now being tested for their potential use in treating serious bone fractures, cancer, the side effects of chemotherapy and infectious disease. The company's early product discoveries are being developed and commercialized by marketing partners. Recormon (R) and Epogin (R) brands of EPO are on the market in Europe and Japan. Leucomax (TM) brand GM-CSF is on the market in the U.K., was recommended for approval in other European Community countries, and awaits U.S. marketing approval. Recombinate (TM) brand Factor VIII antihemophilic factor awaits approval in the U.S. and Europe.
 Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. is a strongly research-oriented company and a leader in Japan's growing pharmaceutical industry. Yamanouchi is engaged in worldwide research, manufacturing and marketing activities that cover a broad range of drugs for treating such disorders as those of the circulatory, digestive and central nervous systems.
 -0- 11~19~92
 ~CONTACT: Dennis Harp or Gina Price of Genetics Institute, 617-876-1170~
 (GENIZ)


CO: Genetics Institute ST: Massachusetts IN: MTC SU: TNM

DD -- NE006 -- 2766 11~19~92 10:14 EST
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Date:Nov 19, 1992
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