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Signals Global Commercialization for Leading Biotech Company

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., May 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Genetics Institute, Inc. (Nasdaq: GENIZ) announced today that it has hired Michael Keavany as Director of Sales to orchestrate the selling of its products in North America. Keavany's appointment represents a major step as Genetics Institute moves toward its goal of marketing a number of proprietary products now in the final stages of clinical evaluation, including Factor IX for the treatment of hemophilia B.

"The hiring of Michael Keavany marks a significant milestone in Genetics Institute's development of a marketing/sales organization," said Karen Dawes, Genetics Institute's Vice President for Commercial Operations. "Having a person with Michael's successful experience in specialty markets and managed care is integral to our readiness to market our proprietary products in the near future."

Michael Keavany spent 15 years in sales at Zeneca Pharmaceuticals, a
leader in the commercialization of products to treat cancer. Most recently he served as Director of Customer Operations at Stuart Disease Management Service.

Genetics Institute, Inc. to Market First Recombinant Therapy for Hemophilia B In keeping with the company's sales and marketing goals, Genetics Institute plans to market recombinant Factor IX (rFIX) in North America for the treatment of hemophilia B, a hereditary bleeding disorder. The Company is preparing to file a marketing application for rFIX later this year with the Food and Drug Administration in the U.S. and other regulatory agencies in Canada and Europe.

Made through genetic engineering, rFIX is the only such product in clinical trials. rFIX should be inherently safer than blood-derived products because it would eliminate the risk of blood-borne viral transmission which may be associated with such products.

Blood-derived Factor IX clotting therapies currently constitute a $150 million worldwide market. The Company has appointed Baxter Healthcare Corporation as exclusive distributor of rFIX in Europe. Through this arrangement, Genetics Institute will supply product and hold the product license for rFIX and Baxter will handle sales and distribution.

Plans to address the Japanese market, where Genetics InstituteUs rFIX has recently received Orphan Drug status, will be announced later this year. As treatments for rare disorders, Orphan Drugs in Japan are afforded special attention by the Japanese Ministry of Health and Welfare, which may expedite the review process.

Other Proprietary Therapeutics in Development

Genetics Institute is also conducting Phase 3 clinical trials for Neumega(TM) (recombinant human interleukin 11, rhIL-11), a protein for treating or preventing low platelet levels in patients undergoing intensive cancer chemotherapy treatments. Platelets are necessary for normal blood clotting. Other proprietary products in clinical development include recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein 2 (rhBMP-2) for localized bone repair and recombinant human interleukin 12 (rhIL-12) to enhance immune function in treating certain cancers and infectious diseases.

"Genetics Institute has grown from a company with $40 million in revenues in 1990 to close to a $250+ million company today," said Gabriel Schmergel, President and Chief Executive Officer. "Our current global commercialization strategy is to market proprietary products, such as rFIX and Neumega (rhIL-11), in North America and to license products for distribution overseas or in certain North American markets where extensive field support is required. The successful execution of this strategy should fuel significant sales growth in the years ahead."

At present, Genetics Institute has a number of pharmaceuticals which are licensed to and marketed by other companies. The Company was the first to introduce and is currently the leading supplier of a recombinant blood-clotting therapy for treating hemophilia A, another form of hemophilia. Recombinate(R) Antihemophilic Factor (Recombinant), is distributed worldwide by the Company's licensee, the Hyland Division of Baxter Healthcare Corporation.

In addition to Recombinate, Genetics Institute currently earns royalties on three other important products distributed by licensees. Recombinant human erythropoietin (rhEPO), for the treatment of anemia due to kidney disease or chemotherapy, is marketed through Boehringer Mannheim GmbH under the trade name Recormon(R) in Europe and through Chugai Pharmaceutical Co. under the trade name Epogin(R) in Japan.

Leucomax(R) GM-CSF (granulocyte macrophage colony stimulating factor), for white blood cell depletion due to cancer chemotherapy, bone marrow disorders and antiviral therapy, is marketed in Europe and Latin America by Sandoz and Schering-Plough Corporation. Solclot(TM) (recombinant human tissue plasminogen activator, rhtPA), a blood clot dissolver for treating heart attacks, is marketed in Japan by Sumitomo Corporation.

Genetics Institute is a leading biopharmaceutical firm engaged in the discovery, development, and commercialization of human pharmaceuticals through recombinant DNA and other technologies. American Home Products Corporation (NYSE: AHP) holds a majority interest in Genetics Institute. AHP is one of the world's largest research-based pharmaceutical and health care products companies, and is a leading developer, manufacturer and marketer of prescription drugs and over-the- counter medications. It is also a leader in vaccines, generic pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, agricultural products, animal health care, medical devices and food products.

The statements in this news release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, including without limitation, the discovery, timely development and acceptance of new products and technologies, the achievement of product development milestones by the Company's collaborative partners and licensees, the impact of competitive products, the timely receipt of regulatory clearances required for clinical testing, manufacturing and marketing of products, the regulation of the Company's business generally, the ability to match manufacturing capacity to product demand, the disposition of legal proceedings involving patents and other matters, and the other risks and uncertainties detailed from time to time in the Company's periodic reports, including quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and the annual report on Form 10-K, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Actual results may differ from the forward- looking statements.

NOTE: Genetics Institute's latest news releases are available at no charge by dialing 1-800-758-5804 ext. 352875, or at on the Internet.
 -0- 5/28/96

/CONTACT: Dennis Harp or Gina Brazier of Genetics Institute, Inc., 617-876-1170/


CO: Genetics Institute, Inc.; American Home Products Corporation ST: Massachusetts IN: MTC SU: PER

SB -- NETU012 -- 0105 05/28/96 08:48 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 28, 1996

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