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XOMA ANNOUNCES U.S. PATENT ON BPI PRODUCTION

 BERKELEY, Calif., March 30 /PRNewswire/ -- A fundamental patent, U.S. Patent No. 5,198,541, that covers DNA sequences and the production of human bactericidal/permeability increasing protein (BPI) using recombinant technology was issued today by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to New York University (NYU). XOMA Corp. (NASDAQ-NMS: XOMA) is the exclusive licensee of the patent for human therapeutic and diagnostic applications and is investigating BPI for use in the treatment of gram negative sepsis, acute and chronic focal infections and other possible clinical applications.
 Earlier this month, XOMA began Phase I human testing in healthy volunteers of rBPI-23, a genetically engineered fragment of the human BPI protein, designed to assess the safety and pharmacokinetics of the compound. The study was begun under an investigational new drug application filed with the Food and Drug Administration.
 In its natural state, human BPI is a 55,000-molecular weight protein present in certain white blood cells called granulocytes. As its name implies, BPI is a potent bactericidal protein that disrupts the cell wall integrity of gram-negative bacteria through specific binding to endotoxin on its surface. Thus, BPI can function both within granulocytes and extracellularly to kill gram-negative bacteria and neutralize endotoxin.
 "This is an important milestone in XOMA's BPI program, and we believe it significantly strengthens our proprietary position. Recombinant technology is important because it allows the production of therapeutic quantities of BPI which otherwise is produced only in very small amounts in the body," said XOMA president and chief executive officer John L. Castello. "With the issuance of the patent and the recent initiation of the world's first human clinical trials of a BPI product, we believe XOMA is in a leading position in the development and eventual commercialization of this exciting human-derived protein for clinical use."
 In 1987, Drs. Elsbach and Weiss of NYU Medical Center, recognized leaders in BPI-based research, isolated an amino terminal fragment of the BPI protein that appeared to contain the biological activity of the whole natural molecule. In 1991, XOMA scientists expressed large quantities of rBPI-23, a 23,000-molecular weight fragment of the BPI protein with similar properties. In 1992, NYU and XOMA scientists published the finding that rBPI-23 and natural BPI were both effective in killing gram-negative bacteria and in inhibiting release of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) in whole blood (J. Clin. Invest. 90: 1122-1130, September 1992). Animal studies which confirm these findings have been presented at international scientific meetings.
 XOMA is a biotechnology company engaged in the development of pharmaceutical products based on recombinant DNA and other technologies for targeted treatment of infectious and immune system diseases and other serious disorders.
 -0- 3/30/93
 /CONTACT: Corporate communications of XOMA, 510-644-1170/
 (XOMA)


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

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Date:Mar 30, 1993
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