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IMMUNEX RECEIVES USE PATENT FOR GM-CSF

 IMMUNEX RECEIVES USE PATENT FOR GM-CSF
 SEATTLE, Jan. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Immunex Corp. (NASDAQ: IMNX)


received today U.S. patent 5,078,996 covering methods for priming human macrophage cells to have anti-tumor activity by administering granulocyte macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF), the company announced.
 GM-CSF is a protein that stimulates the bone marrow to produce infection-fighting white blood cells called granulocytes and macrophages. A recombinant version of the protein is marketed by Immunex under the trade name Leukine(R) (Sargramostim). Leukine was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in March 1991 for accelerating white blood cell recovery following autologous bone marrow transplantation to treat certain cancers. Last week, FDA cleared Leukine for use in cancer patients whose bone marrow transplants have failed.
 The patent issued today is based in part on research findings that were
first published in the April 25, 1986, issue of the journal "Science." In that paper, Immunex scientists discussed the previously unknown ability of GM-CSF to directly activate macrophages to destroy tumor cells. Immunex scientists Ken Grabstein and Paul Conlon, inventors of the methods described in the patent, observed that isolated macrophages contacted with GM-CSF were capable of lysing, or breaking up, specific tumor cells. Grabstein and Conlon reasoned that parenteral administration of GM-CSF would be useful in treating tumors in human patients.
 "This patent reflects Immunex's pioneering role in the development of clinical uses of colony stimulating factors," said Steven Gillis, Ph.D., Immunex executive vice president and scientific director. "Because GM-CSF acts broadly in the immune system, we believe it will play a significant role in the treatment of disease."
 Immunex Corp. is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the research, development, manufacture and marketing of products to treat cancer and autoimmune disease. Immunex is developing an extensive portfolio of therapeutic products which have the potential to treat a wide range of immune system disorders.
 -0- 1/7/92
 /CONTACT: Jason Rubin or Valoree Dowell of Immunex Corp., 206-587-0430/
 (IMNX) CO: Immunex Corp. ST: Washington IN: MTC SU:


SC -- SE001 -- 7178 01/07/92 08:32 EST
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Date:Jan 7, 1992
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