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MEDIMMUNE AND CELL GENESYS TO COLLABORATE ON NOVEL CELL THERAPY FOR AIDS

MEDIMMUNE AND CELL GENESYS TO COLLABORATE ON NOVEL CELL THERAPY FOR AIDS
 GAITHERSBURG, Md., May 5 /PRNewswire/ -- MedImmune Inc. (NASDAQ: MEDI) announced today that it has signed a collaborative agreement with Cell Genesys, Inc. through which Cell Genesys will develop novel T cell transplant products for the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, the cause of the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). The agreement grants Cell Genesys an exclusive worldwide license to MedImmune's portfolio of anti-HIV antibodies for the development of cytotoxic T cell transplant products for the treatment of AIDS. In exchange, MedImmune will receive licensing fees, payments on milestones achieved by Cell Genesys, and royalty payments.
 As an initial step towards the development of a T cell transplant product for AIDS, Cell Genesys is genetically modifying human T cells to have increased specificity against HIV. T cells are a type of white blood cell which comprise a major component of the body's immune defense mechanism against certain types of infection and malignancy. The administration of specific T cells to patients with immune deficiency may provide a new therapeutic strategy for the treatment of serious infections such as HIV. For example, a T cell transplant product with specificity against HIV could target cells actively infected with the virus and potentially eliminate sites of persistent infection. However, the therapeutic benefit of an anti-HIV T cell transplant product in AIDS has not yet been demonstrated in human clinical testing, which Cell Genesys does not expect to begin until 1993 or later.
 Cell Genesys' strategy to produce a T cell transplant product targeted against HIV involves the use of human monoclonal antibodies that are broadly reactive against HIV. MedImmune has a large portfolio of human monoclonal antibodies directed against several different components of HIV. By means of genetic engineering technology, Cell Genesys will use components of these antibodies to create T cell transplant products with a high degree of specificity for HIV-infected cells. Moreover, Cell Genesys believes that the genetic modifications to these anti-HIV T cells could allow them to function on a universal basis in the majority of patients who receive them.
 As part of its effort to create anti-HIV T cells, Cell Genesys has an ongoing research collaboration with the New England Deaconess Hospital of Harvard Medical School in Boston, Mass., and the Medical Biology Institute in San Diego, Calif. Together with these two institutions Cell Genesys has received a three year $1.9 million grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health.
 "Gaining access to MedImmune's valuable portfolio of anti-HIV antibodies is an important step forward in the development of our anti- HIV T cell transplant product," said Stephen A. Sherwin, M.D., president and chief executive officer of Cell Genesys. "We believe a T cell transplant product may provide a new approach to the therapy of AIDS and may provide insight into the development of similar treatment strategies for other serious infections and malignancies in patients with immunodeficiency".
 Collaborating with Cell Genesys in the development of anti-HIV T cell therapy for AIDS provides an important opportunity for MedImmune to gain significant incremental value from our expertise and accomplishments in the field of anti-HIV antibodies," said Wayne T. Hockmeyer, Ph.D., MedImmune's president and chief executive officer.
 MedImmune, Inc. was founded in 1988 to develop, manufacture and market therapeutics and vaccines for the treatment and prevention of infectious diseases and cancer. The company's corporate headquarters are located in Gaithersburg, Md.
 Cell Genesys, Inc. with headquarters in Foster City, Calif., is a privately held biotechnology company, which is a pioneer in the application of gene targeting technology to the development of human therapeutic health care products. The company is using gene targeting and related technologies to develop universal cell transplant products as well as certain human therapeutic protein and human monoclonal antibody products.
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 /CONTACT: Dr. Wayne Hockmeyer, CEO of MedImmune, 301-417-0770, or Frederic Spar of Kekst and Company, 212-593-2655, for MedImmune/
 (MEDI) CO: MedImmune Inc.; Cell Genesys ST: Maryland, California IN: MTC SU:


TQ -- NY019 -- 6412 05/05/92 09:34 EDT
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Date:May 5, 1992
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