SOURCE: Oxford Biomedica Plc

October 24, 2005 02:01 ET

Oxford Biomedica Signs Lentivector® Licensing Agreement with Fortune 500 Biopharmaceutical Company

OXFORD, UK -- (MARKET WIRE) -- October 24, 2005 --

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                     24 OCTOBER 2005

Oxford, UK: 24 October 2005 - Oxford BioMedica (LSE: OXB), the leading gene therapy company, announced today that it has signed its seventh licence agreement for its LentiVector technology with a Fortune 500 global biopharmaceutical company. The agreement provides the licensee with use of the Company's proprietary LentiVector gene delivery system for research activities. Under the terms of the agreement, Oxford BioMedica will receive an upfront licence payment and an annual maintenance fee. Further financial details were not disclosed.

Oxford BioMedica's lentivirus-based gene delivery technology, known as LentiVector, is one of the most powerful technologies for the delivery of genes to a wide range of cell and tissue types. The LentiVector technology has applications both in therapeutic products and as a drug discovery tool for target validation and the creation of targeted disease models. Oxford BioMedica has a comprehensive portfolio of US and European patents that cover the technology. The Company has an active licensing programme providing access to its LentiVector technology on a non-exclusive basis primarily. Licensees and partners include Biogen Idec, Merck & Co, Pfizer and Viragen. Oxford BioMedica recently entered a strategic alliance with Sigma-Aldrich for commercialisation of the LentiVector technology for the research and reagents market.

Commenting on the news Oxford BioMedica's Senior Vice President Commercial Development, Peter Nolan, said: "We are delighted to have secured our seventh licensee for the LentiVector gene delivery technology. The pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry increasingly recognises our gene delivery technology as the system of choice in research and drug discovery, which is reflected by the quality and growing number of licensees".


For further information, please contact:
Oxford BioMedica plc:
Professor Alan Kingsman, Chief Executive                Tel: +44 (0)1865 783 000
Peter Nolan, SVP Commercial Development

City/Financial Enquiries:
Lisa Baderoon/ Mark Court/ Mary-Jane Johnson Buchanan   Tel: +44 (0)20 7466 5000
Scientific/Trade Press Enquiries:

Sue Charles/ Katja Stout/ Ashley Lilly                  Tel: +44 (0)20 7886 8150
Northbank Communications

Notes to editors

1. Oxford BioMedica

Oxford BioMedica (LSE: OXB) is a biopharmaceutical company specialising in the development of novel gene-based therapeutics with a focus on the areas of oncology and neurotherapy. The Company was established in 1995 as a spin out from Oxford University, and is listed on the London Stock Exchange.

Oxford BioMedica has core expertise in gene delivery, as well as in-house clinical, regulatory and manufacturing know-how. In oncology, the pipeline includes an immunotherapy and a gene therapy in multiple Phase II trials, and a preclinical targeted antibody therapy in collaboration with Wyeth. In neurotherapy, the Company's lead product is a gene therapy for Parkinson's disease, which is expected to enter clinical trials in 2006, and four further preclinical candidates. The Company is underpinned by over 80 patent families, which represent one of the broadest patent estates in the field.

The Company has a staff of approximately 70 split between its main facilities in Oxford and its wholly owned subsidiary, BioMedica Inc, in San Diego, California. Oxford BioMedica has corporate collaborations with Wyeth, Intervet, Sigma-Aldrich, Viragen, MolMed and Kiadis; and has licensed technology to a number of companies including Merck & Co, Biogen Idec and Pfizer.

Further information is available at

2. LentiVector technology

Oxford BioMedica's LentiVector gene delivery technology, based on lentiviruses, is arguably the most potent system currently available for treating a range of diseases, particularly those of the central nervous system. Oxford BioMedica has shown that its lentiviral vectors are able to deliver genes with high efficiency to a variety of both dividing and non-dividing cells, including neurons in the brain.

Oxford BioMedica has three issued US patents and a European patent for its LentiVector technology. These include broad composition of matter claims and methods of production claims for lentiviral vector gene delivery systems of both human and non-human origin. The patents also cover derivatives of lentiviral vector systems that, unlike many versions of lentiviral vectors, have real clinical utility because of their safety.

The Company has established a neurotherapy pipeline of product candidates based on its LentiVector technology, which includes ProSavin® for Parkinson's disease, RetinoStat® for retinopathy, MoNudin® for motor neuron disease, SMN1-G for spinal muscular atrophy and Innurex® for nerve repair.

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