Tokyo, 24th January, 2005 - Sosei Co. Ltd., (4565, Tokyo Stock Exchange MOTHERS Index) announced today that lead antibodies specifically recognizing human CRTh2 have been identified for Sosei’s SOA-002 project in collaboration with Abgenix. These two antibodies are fully human monoclonal antibodies to human CRTh2 (chemoattractant receptor-homologous molecule expressed on Th2 cells) and generated utilizing the XenoMouse® technology of Abgenix, Inc. The project will move into preclinical testing based on positive results obtained through in vitro screening under the ongoing collaboration agreement to discover, develop and commercialize fully human monoclonal antibody against CRTh2 for the indications in allergic disease and asthma.
Sosei has obtained from BML, Inc., one of the leading diagnostic companies in Japan, worldwide exclusive licenses for therapeutic uses under BML’s patents and know-how relating to CRTh2 and monoclonal antibodies against this target.
Under terms of the collaboration agreement, Abgenix and Sosei will co-develop antibodies against CRTh2 and any additional target antigens that may be added to the collaboration. Abgenix has the responsibility for manufacturing any monoclonal antibodies required in clinical trials.
About CRTh2: CRTh2 is a novel G protein-coupled receptor which is selectively expressed on Th2 cells, eosinophils and basophils, but not Th1 cells. It has been suggested that CRTh2 is involved in cell activation and chemotaxis and occupies a pivotal role in the development of Th2 type immune responses, such as asthma.
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About Sosei Co. Ltd.
Sosei Co. Ltd. founded in 1990 by Shinichi Tamura, the ex-CEO of Genentech Japan, is a public Japanese biopharmaceutical company with significant expertise in drug development. It enriches its core product pipeline by in-licensing compounds from Western and Japanese companies, by its distinctive Drug Reprofiling Platform® (DRP®) and through new molecular entity (NME) research programmes in collaboration with biopharmaceutical companies and universities both in Japan and the West. Sosei is also developing its own sales and marketing organization in Japan. The company is capitalising on its extensive global network established over the past 10 years in its successful technology transfer business. For further information about Sosei, please visit www.sosei.com.
About Abgenix Inc. (NASDAQ:ABGX)
Abgenix is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and manufacturing of human therapeutic antibodies. The company's antibody development platform includes a leading technology and state-of-the-art manufacturing capabilities that enable the rapid generation, selection and production of high affinity, fully human antibody product candidates to a variety of disease targets. Abgenix leverages its leadership position in human antibody technology to build a diversified product portfolio through the establishment of collaborations with multiple pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. For more information on Abgenix, visit the company's website at www.abgenix.com.