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GENETICS INSTITUTE COMMENCES DEVELOPMENT OF NEW BLOOD CELL GROWTH AND STIMULATORY FACTOR

 CAMBRIDGE, Mass., March 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Genetics Institute, Inc. (NASDAQ: GENIZ) announced today that it has brought an additional discovery compound into development bringing its current portfolio to five proprietary product candidates. This new candidate is recombinant human interleukin-12 (rhIL-12), also known as natural killer cell stimulatory factor (NKSF) and cytotoxic lymphocytematuration factor (CLMF).
 rhIL-12 is a novel cytokine having a variety of biological effects on lymphocyte (a type of white blood cell) populationsincluding the stimulation and proliferation of T and natural killer cells. These cells are important in the defense against microbial infections and may be important in defense against cancer. In small animal disease models, murine rIL-12 has shown potent immune stimulatory activity and demonstrated significant anti-tumor and anti-infective activity. Genetics Institute and Hoffmann-La Roche are developing rhIL-12 with the goal of evaluating its therapeutic potential in cancer and infectious disease.
 Having settled a potential patent conflict on interleukin-12 on a worldwide basis, Genetics Institute and Hoffmann-La Roche have entered into a patent cross-licensing and collaboration agreement. Under the terms of that agreement, the parties are collaborating in certain pre- development activities and may optionally extend their agreement to continue their collaboration throughout the later development and commercialization of rhIL-12.
 "rhIL-12 is a promising new factor with potentially important effects on enhancing immunity to infections," said Patrick Gage, Ph.D., executive vice president of Genetics Institute. "By sharing the information we are obtaining from our complementary scientific programs and initial collaborative development efforts with Hoffmann-La Roche we hope to accelerate our understanding of rhIL-12's mechanisms of action, and advance it as quickly as possible to human clinical trials," Gage continued.
 "We are excited about the potential use of rhIL-12 to fight human cancer based on promising results that were obtained in murine tumor models," said Michael Steinmetz, Ph.D., vice president and group director of Preclinical Research at Hoffmann-La Roche.
 Genetics Institute (NASDAQ: GENIZ) is a leading biopharmaceutical firm engaged in the discovery and development of human pharmaceuticals through recombinant DNA and other technologies. The company is currently developing five pharmaceutical products for commercialization in the U.S. The three more advanced products are now being tested in humans for their potential use in treating serious bone fractures, cancer, the side effects of chemotherapy and infectious disease.
 Several of the Company's early product discoveries are being developed and commercialized by marketing partners. Recombinate brand recombinant Factor VIII antihemophilic factor (rAHF) is being sold by Baxter Healthcare Corporation in the U.S., Canada and Sweden and awaits European approval. Genetics Institute manufactures the bulk drug substance used in Recombinate rAHF. Recormon and Epogin brands of EPO are being sold in Europe and Japan by Boehringer Mannheim, GmbH and Chugai Pharmaceutical Company, Ltd. Leucomax brand GM-CSF is being sold in several major European countries by Sandoz, Ltd. and Schering-Plough Corporation and awaits U.S. approval.
 American Home Products Corporation (NYSE:AHP) holds a majority interest in Genetics Institute. AHP is a world leader in the marketing and manufacturing of prescription drugs, medical supplies, diagnostics, over-the-counter medicines and food products.
 Headquartered in Nutley, N.J., Hoffmann-La Roche Inc. is the United States affiliate of the multinational group of companies headed by Roche Holding Ltd. of Basel, Switzerland. One of the world's leading research-intensive health care companies, Roche has discovered, developed and introduced numerous important prescription pharmaceuticals. The Company is also a major provider of diagnostic products and clinical testing services, home infusion therapy services, vitamins and other products for human and animal nutrition, as well as animal drug feed additives and veterinary products. Recognized for excellence in both biotechnology and chemistry, Roche is also widely known for its current efforts in the commercial development of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology, a revolutionary advance in medical diagnosis.
 -0- 3/16/93
 /CONTACT: Dennis Harp or Gina Price, corporate communications,


617-876-1170, both of Genetics Institute; Stefan Ryser, Ph.D, public policy and communications of Hoffmann-La Roche Inc., 201-235-7979/
 (GENIZ AHP)


CO: Genetics Institute Inc.; Hoffmann-LaRoche, Inc. ST: Massachusetts; New Jersey IN: MTC SU: CON

CH -- NE004 -- 6409 03/16/93 09:19 EST
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Date:Mar 16, 1993
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