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MDS PROTEOMICS & ABGENIX DEVELOP ANTIBODY THERAPIES.

MDS Proteomics, a proteomics-based drug discovery company, and Abgenix, Inc. (Nasdaq: ABGX), an antibody-based biopharmaceutical company, have collaborated to develop and commercialize antibody drugs. Leveraging MDS Proteomics' proprietary proteomics systems and Abgenix' human antibody technologies, the companies have identified up to 150 targets for generation of human therapeutic antibody candidates intended for further development and eventual treatment for a broad range of complex diseases.

Abgenix has collaborated with MDS Proteomics to complement its current drug target capabilities. MDS Proteomics' functional approach to proteomics is designed to accelerate therapeutic development by combining protein pathway biology, ultra-sensitive mass spectrometry analysis and high performance super-computing to yield the most relevant targets for designing new medicines. Once high quality targets are identified by MDS Proteomics, Abgenix, independently or jointly with MDS Proteomics, will develop and commercialize the proteomics-derived antibody therapies. Both companies will receive reciprocal milestone and royalty payments for products resulting from this development alliance. Separately, Abgenix entered into an agreement with MDS Proteomics to purchase $15 million (USD) of MDS Proteomics common stock. The Abgenix investment in MDS Proteomics follows an investment made earlier this year by IBM Life Sciences.

"This alliance brings two leaders in their respective fields together with a common purpose, to speed the development of new drugs for treating some of the major diseases plaguing our society today," said Frank Gleeson, president and chief executive officer of MDS Proteomics. "Combining our expertise and approach to identifying high quality targets with Abgenix' superior antibody technology, we will establish a powerful platform for producing antibody therapies from proteomics."

"We are excited to collaborate with MDS Proteomics, a leading proteomics company, in a large-scale effort to help change the nature of the drug development process," said R. Scott Greer, chairman and chief executive officer of Abgenix. "With MDS Proteomics' ability to drill down into each target area through the use of proteomics, coupled with our leading technology for developing fully human monoclonal antibody therapies, we hope to build a comprehensive platform for producing proteomic-based antibody therapies."

About Proteomics

Proteins regulate the activities of cells, tissues and organs. Interactions among proteins can trigger chemical reactions within cells that play a key role in diseases and ailments such as cancer, AIDS and depression. The emerging field of proteomics - the study of protein location, interaction, structure and function - aims to identify and characterize the proteins present in normal and diseased biological samples. Abnormalities in protein production or function have been connected to many diseases and health conditions, so the ability to modulate proteins represents an attractive target for drug design.

About Antibodies

Antibodies are naturally occurring proteins used by the body's immune system to combat many diseases. As therapeutic products, antibodies have several potential advantages over other therapies. The highly specific interaction between an antibody and its target may, for example, reduce unwanted side effects that may occur with other therapies. Fully human antibodies are desirable because they avoid the risk of rejection present with mouse or partial mouse antibodies.

About Abgenix, Inc.

Abgenix is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of fully human monoclonal antibody therapies for a variety of diseases. The company's antibody technology platform, which includes XenoMax technology, enables the rapid generation and selection of high affinity, fully human antibody product candidates to essentially any disease target appropriate for antibody therapy. Abgenix leverages its leadership position in human antibody technologies by building a large and diversified product portfolio through the establishment of licensing arrangements with multiple pharmaceutical, biotechnology and genomics companies and through the development of its own internal proprietary products.

Abgenix can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.abgenix.com.

About MDS Proteomics

A pioneer in the field of proteomic-enabled drug discovery, MDS Proteomics' goal is to significantly improve the productivity of the pharmaceutical industry in discovering and developing new medicines for the treatment of disease. The company has developed exceptional capabilities in proteomics systems, technology, supercomputing, drug design, screening and biology and is uniquely positioned to build an effective bridge between gene discovery and therapeutic development. This distinctive capability is being used in collaborations with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies as well as for the development of the company's own product pipeline. In its proteomics facilities in Europe and North America, the company focuses on drug target discovery and validation for both antibody and small molecule therapeutics. MDS Proteomics is a majority-owned subsidiary of MDS Inc.

MDS Proteomics can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.mdsproteomics.com

About MDS Inc.

MDS Inc. (NYSE: MDZ; TSE: MDS) is an international health and life sciences company that is focused on fighting disease in numerous ways. Its products and services include: laboratory testing, imaging agents for nuclear medicine testing, sterilization systems for medical and consumer products, research and clinical development services for planning and delivery of cancer treatment, analytical instruments to assist in the development of new drugs, and medical/surgical supplies. MDS employs more than 10,000 highly skilled people at its global operations on four continents.

MDS can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.mdsintl.com.

For more information, call 510/608-4662 or 416/213-4088.
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Comment:MDS PROTEOMICS & ABGENIX DEVELOP ANTIBODY THERAPIES.
Publication:Worldwide Biotech
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 1, 2001
Words:859
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