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IDEC PHARMACEUTICALS DISCONTINUES DEVELOPMENT OF SPECIFID(TM) PRODUCT CANDIDATE, REDIRECTS LYMPHOMA PROGRAM

 SAN DIEGO, July 22 /PRNewswire/ -- IDEC Pharmaceuticals Corporation (NASDAQ: IDPH) today announced that it is discontinuing the development of SPECIFID(TM), one of its three product candidates for treatment of B-cell lymphomas. This strategic decision was based on a number of factors unique to SPECIFID, including: recent manufacturing data on the 15 separate antibodies which comprise the SPECIFID panel, regulatory complexities and cost of goods and pricing considerations.
 "We have carefully analyzed the additional investment required to make SPECIFID commercially viable and concluded that it is not prudent to proceed given the potential return on this investment," said William H. Rastetter, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of IDEC. "We have therefore made the appropriate and timely business decision to discontinue development of SPECIFID before beginning pivotal clinical studies," he said. This decision was supported by IDEC's SPECIFID development partners and lymphoma limited partner -- Boehringer Ingelheim International GmbH, Zenyaku Kogyo, Ltd., and ML/MS Associates, L.P., respectively. To phase out the SPECIFID program, IDEC will record a $3.0 million charge against operations in the second quarter of 1993.
 Resources allocated to SPECIFID will be redirected over time to the company's other product candidates and programs, including the MELIMMUNE(TM) antibodies for treatment of malignant melanoma, the PRIMATIZED(TM) antibody program, and the company's single-antibody pan-B product candidates targeted against lymphomas.
 "Within our lymphoma program, we will now focus on the aggressive development of our single-antibody pan-B product candidates," said Dr. Rastetter. The SPECIFID panel of 15 antibodies targets cell-surface markers present only on the malignant cells of the tumors of approximately 25 percent of patients with non-Hodgkin's B-cell lymphoma. The company's single-antibody pan-B agents target the CD20 cell-surface marker present in greater than 90 percent of lymphomas, thereby significantly increasing the number of potentially treatable patients, compared to SPECIFID. These antibodies are designed to deplete malignant cells and to also temporarily deplete normal B cells. Research to date indicates that the patient's bone-marrow cells should spontaneously replenish the normal B cells following completion of therapy.
 ML/MS Associates, L.P., which has supported lymphoma research and clinical studies at IDEC under its partnership agreement, will receive royalties on any lymphoma product which IDEC subsequently commercializes.
 IDEC Pharmaceuticals is focused on the development of targeted immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer and autoimmune diseases. These therapies typically 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. They also can be administered in outpatient settings, potentially helping to reduce overall treatment costs.
 IDEC Pharmaceuticals is located at 11011 Torreyana Road, San Diego, CA 92121.
 -0- 7/22/93
 /EDITOR'S NOTE: IDEC Pharmaceuticals issued a second press release today entitled: "IDEC Pharmaceuticals Reports Clinical Progress with its Pan-B Product Candidates for Lymphoma Therapy."/
 /CONTACT: Richard W. Krawiec, director, investor relations and corporate communications, or William H. Rastetter, president and CEO, of IDEC Pharmaceuticals, 619-550-8656/
 (IDPH)


CO: IDEC Pharmaceuticals Corporation ST: California IN: MTC SU:

LS-EH -- SD009 -- 4758 07/22/93 16:32 EDT
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Date:Jul 22, 1993
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