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IDEC PHARMACEUTICALS AWARDED PHASE II GRANT FROM NIH TO FURTHER DEVELOPMENT OF AIDS THERAPEUTICS

 IDEC PHARMACEUTICALS AWARDED PHASE II GRANT FROM NIH
 TO FURTHER DEVELOPMENT OF AIDS THERAPEUTICS
 SBIR Grant Focuses on Therapeutic Vaccine
 Against Multiple Strains of HIV
 LA JOLLA and MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Oct. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- IDEC Pharmaceuticals Corporation (NASDAQ: IDPH) announced today that it has received a $500,000 Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Institutes of Health. This funding is for the continued development of therapeutic vaccines designed to neutralize the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which is the causative agent of AIDS.
 "We are using monoclonal antibodies as therapeutic vaccines to stimulate the patient's immune system to make neutralizing antibodies intended to block HIV from infecting immune system cells," said William H. Rastetter, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of IDEC Pharmaceuticals. "The Phase II grant is a recognition of promising research that resulted in the development of our THERAVIR(TM) therapeutic vaccine (formerly known as 3C9)," he said. "THERAVIR is currently being tested in 24 healthy, HIV-infected patients in a Phase I, double-blinded clinical study. It is designed to induce antibodies that block that portion of the virus which binds to receptors on CD4+ T helper cells," Dr. Rastetter said.
 "Funds from the new NIH grant will support the continued development of additional immunologically active monoclonal antibodies -- in parallel with THERAVIR -- that may be used as therapeutic vaccines to treat HIV infection," said IDEC scientist, Chang-Yuil Kang, Ph.D., the grant's principal investigator. "We are focusing on the induction of broadly neutralizing antibodies to novel epitopes on the gp120 HIV protein," explained Dr. Kang. "This immune response potentially could block infection either before or after HIV has bound to the target cell."
 IDEC Pharmaceuticals is a leader in the development of immunologically active monoclonal antibodies for therapeutic applications. These agents are designed to act through immune system mechanisms and potentially offer greater specificity of action, longer therapeutic effect and lower toxicity than is typical of existing therapies. Current human clinical studies are focused on product candidates for the treatment of immune system cancers (lymphomas and leukemias), malignant melanoma and HIV infection. The company is in late stages of preclinical testing of additional therapeutic agents for autoimmune diseases and cancer.
 IDEC Pharmaceuticals is headquartered at 11099 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037. Company operations are also located in Mountain View, CA.
 -0- 10/13/92
 /CONTACT: Richard W. Krawiec, Director, Investor Relations and Corporate Communication, 619-458-0600, or Clifford Orent, Sr. Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, 415-940-1200, both of IDEC Pharmaceuticals/
 (IDPH) CO: IDEC Pharmaceuticals Corp. ST: California IN: MTC SU:


KJ-LS -- SD001 -- 9247 10/13/92 11:01 EDT
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Date:Oct 13, 1992
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