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XOMA PRESENTS COMPREHENSIVE UPDATE ON rBPI-23

 PHILADELPHIA, June 18 /PRNewswire/ -- At the Third Annual Conference on Endotoxemia and Sepsis, XOMA Corp. (NASDAQ: XOMA) today presented a comprehensive update on rBPI-23, a genetically engineered fragment of human bactericidal/permeability increasing protein (BPI). XOMA is investigating rBPI-23 for use in the treatment of gram-negative sepsis and acute and chronic focal infections.
 To date, several Phase I placebo-controlled safety and pharmacokinetics studies of rBPI-23 involving a total of 67 healthy volunteers have been successfully completed in the United States and Europe. The rBPI-23 protein was well-tolerated in these studies, which examined different infusion rates in a wide range of doses. XOMA is currently evaluating potential indications for efficacy testing in Phase II studies.
 In March, a fundamental U.S. patent (No. 5,198,541) covering DNA sequences coding for BPI and the production of human BPI and its fragments by recombinant DNA methods was issued to New York University (NYU). The company is NYU's exclusive licensee of the patent for human therapeutic and diagnostic applications.
 BPI is a natural human protein present in granulocytes, specialized white blood cells that have a key role in host defenses against bacterial infections. It was discovered in 1978 by Drs. Peter Elsbach and Jerrold Weiss of NYU Medical Center, with whom XOMA has an active collaboration. BPI is a potent bactericidal protein that disrupts the outer membrane of gram-negative bacteria. BPI also binds to and neutralizes endotoxin, a component of the outer bacterial membrane that is a key mediator of potentially life-threatening complications of gram- negative sepsis and infections.
 In the circulation, endotoxin binds to lipopolysaccharide binding protein (LBP), and stimulates monocytes to produce cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor (TNF), interleukin-1 (IL-1), interleukin-6 (IL-6) and interleukin-8 (IL-8). The cytokines, and other pro-inflammatory substances released in the presence of endotoxin, in turn cause damage to the lungs, kidneys and circulatory system, leading to organ failure and death.
 In his presentation today, Brian Parent, Ph.D., XOMA's director of sepsis research, discussed results demonstrating the effectiveness of rBPI-23 as an inhibitor of LBP binding to endotoxin. These results may explain the ability of low doses of rBPI-23 to inhibit monocyte release of TNF, IL-1, IL-6 and IL-8 in whole blood. In addition, rBPI-23 has been shown to significantly reduce mortality and cytokine release in murine models of endotoxemia and sepsis. Recent studies of rBPI-23 in rats have shown that it produced dose-dependent inhibition of the endotoxin-mediated hemodynamic derangements that lead to septic shock.
 "XOMA is a world leader in the development of BPI-based products," said XOMA Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John L. Castello. "We were the first to clone and express the rBPI-23 fragment and to produce meaningful quantities of the protein under good manufacturing practices, and our clinical trials with rBPI-23 are the first with a product based on the BPI protein."
 XOMA, headquartered in Berkeley, Calif., 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- 6/18/93
 /CONTACT: Carol DeGuzman of XOMA, 510-644-1170; or Diana Dalsass or Ellen French, both of Robert Marston & Assoc., 212-371-2200, for XOMA/
 (XOMA)


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

TB-TM -- SF002 -- 3496 06/18/93 10:27 EDT
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Date:Jun 18, 1993
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