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 BERKELEY, Calif., Oct. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- A total of six presentations concerning rBPI-23, XOMA Corp.'s (NASDAQ-NMS: XOMA) product based on bactericidal/permeability increasing protein, are being delivered this week at ICAAC(A), a major infectious disease meeting. XOMA is developing rBPI-23 for a range of indications related to gram- negative infections. Phase I testing of rBPI-23 in healthy volunteers has been conducted.
 XOMA's rBPI-23 is distinct among biotechnology-based products in clinical testing for the treatment of sepsis. It has dual mechanisms, acting on each of the principal causes of gram-negative infections and sepsis: bacteria and endotoxin (the toxic portion of the bacterial cell wall). By acting on bacteria and endotoxin, rBPI-23 significantly reduces endotoxin-stimulated release of cytokines including tumor necrosis factor (TNF), and the interleukins 1, 6 and 8 in whole blood. Importantly, rBPI-23 does not appear to otherwise affect cytokine production that is critical to the natural host defense system. Further, rBPI-23 improves survival in animal models of both infection and sepsis.
 "The data to be presented at ICAAC extend our already significant base of knowledge of rBPI-23," said XOMA Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John L. Castello. "We continue to be very enthusiastic about the potential for this product. Although much work remains to be done, we believe that rBPI-23 may improve patient outcome because it acts on the causes of sepsis and infection, rather than on just one of the body's responses."
 During ICAAC, Peter Elsbach, M.D., professor of medicine and microbiology of the New York University Medical Center, in an invited paper, will present an overview of his pioneering research on the anti- bacterial and anti-endotoxin properties of natural human BPI, and of rBPI-23. Dr. Elsbach and Jerrold Weiss, Ph.D., also of NYU Medical Center, discovered BPI in 1978. XOMA has an active collaboration with the NYU Medical Center researchers and is exclusive licensee of a fundamental U.S. patent covering DNA sequences coding for human BPI and its fragments, and for the manufacture of BPI-based proteins using recombinant DNA technology.
 Studies of interactions between rBPI-23 and antibiotics will be presented by Nigel Saunders, M.D., and Jonathan Cohen, M.D., of the Royal Postgraduate Medical School in London. These studies demonstrate that the anti-bacterial properties of both rBPI-23 and gentamicin are enhanced when used together. Tom Evans, M.D., a colleague of Dr. Cohen, will discuss the significant protective effects of rBPI-23 in improving survival in a mouse model of sepsis.
 Studies which shed new light on how rBPI-23 neutralizes the toxic effects of endotoxin will be described by Helene Gazzano-Santoro, Ph.D., a senior scientist at XOMA. Data showing the ability of rBPI-23 to decrease endotoxin-mediated tissue factor production, a mediator of clotting abnormalities seen in sepsis, will be presented by XOMA colleague Karoly Meszaros, M.D., Ph.D. In addition, XOMA scientist Mark White will describe assays for measuring BPI in body fluids. Together, these presentations add to the existing body of data demonstrating that rBPI-23 is a potent anti-bacterial and anti-endotoxin agent.
 "The number and breadth of these presentations is one indication of the high level of effort underway at XOMA to fully explore the properties and therapeutic potential of rBPI-23," said Jack Castello. "Papers describing additional research findings concerning rBPI-23 have been accepted for publication in peer-reviewed journals in the coming months, and we plan to present Phase I clinical trial results during the first half of 1994."
 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.
 (A) ICAAC is the 33rd Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents & Chemotherapy (New Orleans, Oct. 17-20, 1993) sponsored by the Amer. Society for Microbiology.
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 /NOTE TO EDITORS: The ICAAC abstracts and a backgrounder on rBPI-23 are available if you provide your fax number to Cynthia Richardson, 510-644-1170, ext. 2025./
 /CONTACT: Carol D. DeGuzman of XOMA, 504-529-7111 (Oct. 18-20), or 510-644-1170/

CO: Xoma Corp. ST: California IN: MTC SU:

PK-TM -- SF003 -- 3173 10/18/93 08:30 EDT
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Date:Oct 18, 1993

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