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TEXAS BIOTECHNOLOGY AND GENENTECH FORM LICENSING AGREEMENT ON MITSUBISHI DRUG COMPOUND

 HOUSTON, June 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Texas Biotechnology Corporation (TBC) today announced the formation of a strategic licensing agreement with Genentech, Inc. (NYSE; GNE) for its compound Argatroban, an antithrombolitic compound licensed from Mitsubishi Kasei (TKY: 4010). The drug is currently marketed in Japan and had sales in 1992 of $40 million. Terms of the agreement are not disclosed.
 "Argatroban fits precisely into our product strategy and gives us an opportunity to develop a compound, proven in Japan, for marketing in North America," said David B. McWilliams, president and chief executive officer of TBC. "Its inclusion in the TBC pipeline establishes an important presence in the company's near term horizon, opening up a large market to us. This agreement will immediately position TBC closer to the market and to commercial rewards. It will also provide a substantial means to fund research and development programs for TBC's major drugs."
 Argatroban is a new synthetic molecule antithrombotic derived from L-arginine. It has a selective inhibitory effect on thrombin and through that, prevents fibrin formation and platelet aggregation. Argatroban is manufactured by Mitsubishi Kasei and is approved in Japan for its use in the treatment of chronic arterial obstruction.
 Initially, the drug was licensed to Genentech for the United States and Canada. Genentech subsequently filed an IND in November 1988 and successfully tested the drug in Phase I safety studies in normal volunteers, patients undergoing angioplasty and patients with unstable angina. The drug is ready to commence Phase II clinical studies.
 In addition, terms of the agreement give Genentech right of first discussion should TBC decide to involve a marketing partner in final sales and distribution of the drug.
 In 1992, cardiovascular disease claimed almost one million lives in the United States alone and is the number one killer. The worldwide market potential for acute cardiovascular therapy utilizing heparin is more than $500 million, with almost half of that figure in the United States alone. The primary therapy used today for acute cardiovascular disease is generic heparin, the only antithrombotic used in acute cardiovascular disease. Although heparin has been the drug of choice when rapid onset of action is necessary, it has generally been under- used clinically due to a number of side effects including severe bleeding during use.
 Texas Biotechnology is a privately held company based in Houston. The company's research is focused on the endothelium, the layer of cells lining blood vessels. The company is developing proprietary molecules to treat various cardiovascular diseases including arterial restenosis and atherosclerosis.
 -0- 6/3/93
 /CONTACT: David B. McWilliams, president and chief executive officer of Texas Biotechnology Corporation, 713-796-8822, or Anthony J. Russo, Ph.D. of Noonan/Russo Communications, 212-979-9180, for Texas Biotechnology Corporation/
 (GNE)


CO: Texas Biotechnology Corporation; Genentech, Inc. ST: Texas IN: MTC SU: LIC

SM-OS -- NY022 -- 4857 06/03/93 10:04 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 3, 1993
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