Printer Friendly


 LA JOLLA and MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Feb. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- IDEC Pharmaceuticals Corp. (NASDAQ: IDPH) plans to expand to a new headquarters site in the La Jolla/San Diego area and bring its entire staff together in the new facility by the end of 1993. This decision was driven by IDEC's need to accommodate growth and scale up its operations in preparation for product commercialization. The company is currently operating from separate facilities in La Jolla and Mountain View, Calif.
 "We've outgrown our Mountain View site and will soon face the same overcrowded conditions in La Jolla," said William H. Rastetter, Ph.D., company president and chief executive officer. "Rather than build two new facilities, it's time to unify our operations. Five IDEC products are undergoing human clinical studies and several others are progressing rapidly in research and development. The most effective way for us to bring these products through development and into the marketplace is by working face-to-face as a cohesive team."
 IDEC's dual locations are a carryover from its 1986 merger with Biotherapy Systems, Inc. of Mountain View. While the combined company has operated as a single entity, it has continued to maintain two separate locations, with equivalent-sized staffs and facilities. The La Jolla facility has served as corporate headquarters and the site for the majority of IDEC's efforts in research and preclinical development. The Mountain View facility has served as the principal site for clinical research and clinical study management, process development, manufacturing, quality assurance and quality control, and regulatory affairs.
 "We have always known that as we ran out of room in each of these facilities, we would need to acquire additional space or consider relocating certain functions," Dr. Rastetter acknowledged. "Our decision to finally unify IDEC Pharmaceuticals was influenced by several converging situations, perhaps the most important of these being our sizable inventory of IDEC products and our ability to produce additional inventory to support ongoing clinical and preclinical studies while we move our manufacturing operations.
 "In deciding on our new location, we evaluated both the La Jolla/ San Diego area and the Mountain View/San Francisco Bay Area," Dr. Rastetter said. "Overall, we believe the La Jolla/San Diego area offers us more desirable options. Excellent potential sites are available within a couple of miles of our current headquarters, enabling us to design and manage the construction of research, manufacturing and administrative space with a minimum of inconvenience," he said. "Local financing opportunities are more attractive in the San Diego area and will allow us to make a much smaller cash outlay than would be necessary in the Bay Area. We also believe our recruitment prospects will be better over the long term, due to the cost of living, housing market and growing biotechnology community in the San Diego/La Jolla area." IDEC Pharmaceuticals employs 100 people, split almost equally between La Jolla and Mountain View. All are being encouraged to participate in the company's unification. Mountain View employees who will need to relocate, are being offered financial incentives and other assistance to ease the transition.
 The company is currently in the process of recruiting individuals to fill several major positions, with the understanding that they will be located in the La Jolla/San Diego area, either immediately or at the time of unification, as appropriate. These include new positions as vice president of marketing and director of investor/public relations, as well as restructured positions such as vice president of clinical development and vice president of manufacturing and process development.
 Separate from the unification, Richard A. Miller, M.D., has resigned as vice president of medical research and a director of IDEC Pharmaceuticals to take an active role at Pharmacyclics, Inc., a start- up company which he has co-founded. Pharmacyclics is focused on technology involving synthetic chemical agents for medical applications. This technology is unrelated to IDEC's concentration on immunologically active monoclonal antibodies. Dr. Miller will continue to serve IDEC Pharmaceuticals as a consultant and as a member of both the scientific advisory board and clinical advisory board. IDEC is in the process of seeking his replacement.
 The time line for bringing the entire company and new staff additions under one roof will be dictated by the construction and readiness of the new headquarters. The site will be selected in the next month or two and is expected to be approximately 70,000 square feet in size -- 40 percent larger than the total of all space currently leased by IDEC. The entire construction and unification process is anticipated to take 12 to 18 months.
 In connection with the unification, IDEC expects to incur a one-time charge for human resource-related, moving and miscellaneous expenses of $2 million-$3 million. Costs for facilities construction -- which would have been required for expansion whether of not the company planned to unify its staff -- are still being negotiated and will be dependent upon the actual terms of the lease agreement; it is anticipated that the majority of these costs will be financed as part of the lease.
 IDEC Pharmaceuticals is a leader in the development of immunologically active monoclonal antibodies for use as pharmaceutical products. The company is focused on the treatment of severe or life- threatening diseases, including immune system cancers (lymphomas and leukemias), malignant melanoma, HIV infection and autoimmune disorders. Publicly held since September 1991, the company expects to report having approximately $54 million in cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities as of Dec. 31, 1991. Audited year-end financial statements are expected to be released by the end of February.
 Additional Company Background
 The antibody products developed by IDEC Pharmaceuticals target immune system cells and, unlike many other antibodies, are designed to exert their therapeutic effects without being coupled to separate drugs or toxins. Upon injection into the patient, they distribute through the bloodstream and bind to specific subsets of immune cells, acting either to deplete or suppress malignant or disease-causing cells, or to enhance disease fighting immune functions.
 Because they work through immunological mechanisms, IDEC's products may offer significant therapeutic advantages, such as specificity of action and duration of therapeutic effect, not available through the use of standard therapies, including chemotherapies. Furthermore, because the high specificity of the antibodies enables them to discriminate between different types of immune cells, the potential for interference with healthy, non-targeted cells is reduced. Company products have demonstrated low toxicity and few side effects in human clinical studies, allowing them to be used in out-patient settings. The following five products are currently undergoing clinical study at major medical centers nationwide:
 -- SPECIFID (TM) -- a panel of anti-idiotype antibodies (anti-ids), in Phase III testing for the treatment of low and intermediate grade non-Hodgkin's B-cell lymphoma.
 -- Yttrium conjugated anti-ids -- in Phase I/II testing as a targeted, injectable radiation therapy for use in treating advanced- stage lymphomas not responding well to conventional therapies.
 -- I-Mel-1 -- a therapeutic vaccine in Phase I/II clinical testing primarily to prevent or delay tumor relapse following surgery for malignant melanoma.
 -- I-Mel-2 -- a therapeutic vaccine in Phase I/II clinical testing primarily to prevent or delay tumor relapse following surgery for malignant melanoma.
 -- 3C9 -- a therapeutic vaccine in Phase I clinical testing to delay or slow the progress of HIV infection and thus forestall the onset of AIDS.
 IDEC Pharmaceuticals has entered into an agreement with Boehringer Ingelheim International GmbH to manufacture SPECIFID. The company anticipates that, subject to FDA approval, the product produced by Boehringer Ingelheim will be used in a pivotal Phase III clinical study expected to begin in the coming months. After U.S. regulatory approval of a product license application (PLA) for the marketing and sale of SPECIFID, IDEC Pharmaceuticals intends, at an appropriate time, to construct and operate its own large scale tank cell culture manufacturing plant for the production of SPECIFID and other products. In preparation, a pilot scale facility will be built during the coming months at IDEC's new headquarters.
 IDEC Pharmaceuticals owns or has the option to acquire marketing rights to all of its products in the United States and Canada and intends to market, or in some cases co-market or co-promote, its products in these countries. The company's most advanced products are targeted at the oncology and hematology market, which can be addressed with a small, experienced, highly trained, hospital-based sales force.
 Outside the United States and Canada, IDEC Pharmaceuticals initially will rely on other companies as partners for the marketing, distribution and sale of its products. In this regard, strategic alliances have been established for SPECIFID and certain other products with Boehringer Ingelheim International GmbH, Zenyaku Kogyo Co. Ltd. and the Institute of Immunology Co. Ltd.
 -0- 2/12/92
 /NOTE: For further information, a background Q&A is available upon request./
 /CONTACT: Clifford Orent, senior VP and COO of IDEC Pharmaceuticals, 415-940-1200/
 (IDPH) CO: IDEC Pharmaceuticals Corporation ST: California IN: MTC SU:

CH-DM -- SD001 -- 9103 02/12/92 09:04 EST
COPYRIGHT 1992 PR Newswire Association LLC
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Feb 12, 1992

Related Articles
IDEC Pharmaceuticals to Receive U.S. Patents Covering Technology For High Yield Expression of Recombinant Proteins
IDEC Pharmaceuticals Receives Notice Of Allowance On Additional Patents Covering PRIMATIZED Antibody Technology
Biogen and IDEC Pharmaceuticals Complete Merger to Create New Biotechnology Industry Leader.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters