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 BERKELEY, Calif., Dec. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Advances in XOMA Corp.'s (NASDAQ: XOMA) targeted immunofusion (TIF) technology could lead to new targeted products to treat autoimmune diseases and cancer, according to a presentation today at an international conference on antibody engineering. These genetically engineered products may be more potent and homogeneous and simpler to manufacture than previous targeting proteins based on immunoconjugate technology. XOMA plans to enter a new product based on TIF technology into clinical testing in 1994.
 XOMA's proprietary TIF technology covers bacterial expression of humanized antigen-binding domains and the ability to clone and express enzymes that inhibit cellular protein synthesis. TIFs are formed when the gene for an enzyme is genetically fused with an engineered antigen-binding domain and expressed in E. coli bacteria as a single protein. Thus, TIFs specifically bind to and eliminate cells which express the target antigen. XOMA presented data demonstrating that potent and specific TIFs can be made reproducibly and with high yields.
 "The TIF technology may well open the door to new, cost-effective treatments for autoimmune and other diseases," said XOMA Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John L. Castello. "It is a significant technologic advance deriving from a decade of research at XOMA into the targeted treatment of immune system disorders."
 XOMA's first TIF research program involves targeting the CD5 antigen on mature T lymphocytes. The research is based on XOMA's CD5 Plus(TM) immunoconjugate, which also recognizes the CD5 antigen. CD5 Plus has been used in clinical trials involving over 1,100 patients with GvHD, rheumatoid arthritis, other autoimmune diseases and certain blood-borne cancers. XOMA is pursuing development of CD5 Plus for the treatment of graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) in bone marrow transplant patients.
 While TIF and CD5 Plus both recognize the same target cell, the TIFs are simple, genetically-engineered proteins designed to more effectively kill disease-related cells. TIFs may minimize or eliminate host immune responses, an important consideration for repeat use in chronic autoimmune disease and cancer therapy.
 XOMA scientists have constructed CD5-targeting TIFs and humanized antibodies and successfully tested these reagents in vitro and in animal model systems. The company is pursuing advanced animal testing and plans to enter into clinical testing next year. TIF technology also is applicable to target antigens other than CD5 Plus.
 The presentation, by Marc Better, Ph.D., XOMA's director of molecular genetics, was made in San Diego at the Fourth International Conference on Antibody Engineering, sponsored by International Business Communications.
 XOMA is a biotechnology company engaged in the development of pharmaceutical products based on recombinant DNA and other technologies for the targeted treatment of infectious and immune system diseases and other serious disorders.
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 /CONTACT: Carol D. DeGuzman of XOMA, 510-644-1170/

CO: XOMA Corp. ST: California IN: MTC SU: PDT

RB-TM -- SF001 -- 2085 12/09/93 09:01 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 9, 1993

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