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PROTEIN DESIGN LABS ACQUIRES SANDOZ HUMAN ANTIBODIES

 MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., April 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Protein Design Labs Inc. (PDL) (NASDAQ: PDLI) today announced the acquisition of four human anti-viral antibodies and related technology from Sandoz Pharma Ltd. and Sandoz Pharmaceuticals Corp., including two antibodies that have completed Phase I/II clinical trials.
 The human monoclonal antibodies target cytomegalovirus (CMV), the hepatitis B virus, herpes simplex virus, and the varicella zoster virus. PDL expects to begin a Phase II/III trial with the anti-CMV antibody for CMV retinitis in late 1993 or early 1994 and a Phase II/III trial of the anti-hepatitis B antibody in 1994.
 PDL also acquired from Sandoz ABL 364 and SMART(TM) ABL 364, which PDL previously humanized under a collaborative agreement with Sandoz. These antibodies have potential for treating cancers of epithelial origin, including breast, lung, gastro-intestinal tract, ovarian, and prostate cancers.
 "We expect this acquisition will significantly accelerate commercialization of PDL's first product, although product approval by the FDA cannot be guaranteed," said Laurence Jay Korn, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of PDL. "These anti-viral human antibodies fit with our current program and provide a second technology that complements PDL's SMART technology for humanizing mouse antibodies."
 Dr. Max Link, chairman of Sandoz Pharma, said "Protein Design Labs is an excellent company with expertise in monoclonal antibodies. I have worked with the management of PDL for six years and respect their leadership and ability to bring these products to the marketplace."
 The acquisition includes exclusive rights to Sandoz human antibody technology and patents as well as manufacturing equipment. In exchange, PDL is paying Sandoz $5 million, including $4.5 million for the rights to the four human antibodies and $500,000 for the rights to ABL 364 and SMART ABL 364, and will make up to $5 million in future milestone payments in the event of certain product approvals under the two agreements. PDL has the right to manufacture and market the antibodies throughout the world. Sandoz has certain co-promotion and co-marketing rights and will earn royalties on PDL product sales in countries where it does not sell these antibodies with PDL.
 Fully human antibodies are difficult to obtain, and generally cannot be made against targets that are natural proteins in the human body, which is the case with cancer and autoimmune conditions. However, as humans are naturally infected with viruses such as CMV and hepatitis B, Sandoz was able to use proprietary technology to produce human antibodies against these targets.
 PDL will continue to focus its first-generation product development on SMART Antibodies for cancer and autoimmune conditions and will develop SMART and human antibodies to treat viral infections. SMART Antibodies are computer-designed molecules that combine the binding or targeting site of a mouse antibody with 90 percent of a human antibody. PDL believes SMART Antibodies will be less immunogenic than mouse monoclonal antibodies and therefore will be more effective as human therapeutics.
 The human anti-CMV antibody has shown safety and preliminary evidence of activity in a Phase I/II trial in 17 patients with CMV retinitis. Results of this study will be presented in June at the 9th International AIDS Conference in Berlin. One in five AIDS patients develops CMV retinitis, an eye infection that often leads to blindness.
 Two Phase I studies of the human anti-CMV antibody in bone marrow transplant patients also have been completed in the United States and Europe. In addition, the antibody has potential for prevention and treatment of CMV infections in kidney, heart, and liver transplant patients. As a result of the more advanced clinical status of the human anti-CMV antibody, PDL will suspend plans to start clinical trials later this year with its SMART Anti-CMV Antibody.
 The human anti-hepatitis B antibody has completed a Phase I/II trial in liver transplant patients with end-stage chronic active hepatitis. Ordinarily, such patients cannot receive liver transplants because the hepatitis B virus will rapidly infect and destroy the new liver. However, none of the five patients treated with the anti-hepatitis B antibody developed symptomatic hepatitis after their transplants, and three of the five showed no evidence of viral recurrence. Several hundred thousand patients suffer from this disease in the United States, and millions in Asia.
 The human antibodies against herpes and against the varicella zoster virus, which causes chicken pox and shingles, are in preclinical studies. PDL will continue to evaluate its SMART Anti-Herpes Antibody and the human anti-herpes antibody in primates before deciding which to take into the clinic. The SMART Anti-Herpes Antibody has shown very encouraging results in studies in mice.
 SMART ABL 364 was derived from a mouse antibody that in a Phase I/II European trial reduced disseminated cancer cells in bone marrow. SMART ABL 364 is in preclinical development.
 Paul Nadler, M.D., who joined PDL in February as vice president, Medical and Regulatory Affairs, was responsible for the clinical development of the human anti-CMV and anti-hepatitis B antibodies when he was vice president, medical research at Sandoz. "While working at Sandoz I considered these to be exciting and innovative compounds," Nadler said, "and I am delighted that I will be able to move these products toward Product License Applications at PDL."
 Cary Queen, Ph.D., vice president, research at PDL, said, "PDL will continue to produce human-like SMART antibodies when human monoclonal antibodies cannot be made. We also hope to combine the human antibody technology acquired from Sandoz with genetic technology currently under development at PDL to broaden the range of targets against which fully human antibodies can be produced."
 Two PDL-developed humanized antibodies are in clinical trials. With the acquisition of the Sandoz compounds, PDL now has four potential products in clinical trials.
 The SMART M195 Antibody, which is being investigated as a treatment for myeloid leukemia, was safe and well tolerated and did not cause an immune (HAMA) response in eight patients with relapsed myeloid leukemia who have been evaluated to date in a Phase I trial. SMART Anti-Tac has completed a Phase I clinical trial in patients with graft-versus-host- disease (GvHD) under the management of Hoffmann-La Roche, which has worldwide marketing rights to that compound, and a second Phase I trial for certain leukemias and lymphomas at the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health.
 Results of early stage clinical trials may not be repeated in later stage trials. Evidence of efficacy and safety of an investigational drug must be demonstrated in larger, generally Phase III trials and still does not ensure regulatory approval.
 Protein Design Labs, founded in 1986, is engaged in the computer- based design and development of antibodies and other novel proteins.
 -0- 4/14/93
 /CONTACT: Peter Dworkin, director of corporate communications, of Protein Design Labs, 415-903-3721/
 (PDLI)


CO: Protein Design Labs ST: California IN: MTC SU:

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