SOURCE: Oxford Biomedica Plc

June 06, 2005 02:01 ET

Oxford Biomedica Plc announces Licensing Agreement

OXFORD, UK -- (MARKET WIRE) -- June 6, 2005 --


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                       6 JUNE 2005

   OXFORD BIOMEDICA SIGNS LENTIVECTOR(R) LICENSING AGREEMENT WITH PFIZER

Oxford, UK: 6 June 2005 - Oxford BioMedica (LSE: OXB), the leading gene therapy company, announced today that it has signed a licence agreement for its LentiVector technology with Pfizer (NYSE: PFE). The agreement provides Pfizer 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. It has also been shown to enhance the efficiency of making transgenic birds and mammals. Oxford BioMedica has a comprehensive portfolio of US and European patents that cover the LentiVector technology.

Commenting on the news Oxford BioMedica's Senior Vice President Commercial Development, Peter Nolan, said: "We are delighted to add Pfizer to our list of licensees for the LentiVector technology The versatility and safety of lentiviral vectors make them the system of choice for gene target validation in the drug discovery process as well as for the direct therapeutic applications in neurotherapy that Oxford BioMedica is pursuing. An increasing number of companies are using the LentiVector technology and we expect to establish a number of new partnerships around the technology".

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

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

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

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 early 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 65 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, Amersham, Viragen, MolMed and Kiadis; and has licensed technology to a number of companies including Merck & Co and Biogen Idec. Further information is available at http://www.oxfordbiomedica.co.uk

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. Current licensees of the LentiVector technology include Merck & Co and Biogen Idec.

3. Pfizer

Pfizer Inc (NYSE: PFE) discovers, develops, manufactures, and markets leading prescription medicines for humans and animals and many of the world's best-known consumer brands. Pfizer's innovative, value-added products improve the quality of life of people around the world and help them enjoy longer, healthier, and more productive lives. The company has three business segments: health care, animal health and consumer health care. Pfizer's products are available in more than 150 countries.