MORRIS PLAINS, N.J., March 9, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Immunomedics, Inc. (Nasdaq:IMMU), a biopharmaceutical company primarily focused on the development of monoclonal antibody-based products for the targeted treatment of cancer, autoimmune and other serious diseases, today announced that IBC Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (IBC), a majority-owned subsidiary, has received notice that its patent application for "Modular Method to Prepare Tetrameric Cytokines with Improved Pharmacokinetics by the Dock-and-Lock (DNL) Technology" will issue as U.S. Patent No. 7,906,118 on March 15, 2011.
The 7,906,118 patent covers cytokine-antibody complexes made by the DNL technology. Cytokines are regulatory proteins, such as interleukins and lymphokines, released by cells of the immune system. The issued claims cover DNL complexes containing any cytokine attached to any antibody or antibody fragment. Initial studies with DNL complexes containing four copies of a cytokine per antibody molecule show that the cytokine-antibody DNL complex exhibits greater in vivo efficacy against cancer cells than either cytokine or antibody alone, the unconjugated combination of cytokine and antibody, or a PEGylated form of the cytokine, and has a longer serum half-life than the PEGylated cytokine.
Furthermore, additional claims for the patent family "Methods and Compositions for Generating Bioactive Assemblies of Increased Complexity and Uses," will issue as U.S. Patent No. 7,906,121, also on March 15, 2011. These new patents add to the Company's extensive portfolio of existing DNL patents and further strengthen the patent protection of its proprietary DNL technology. Both patents will expire in March, 2026.
Commenting on the new patent awards, Cynthia L. Sullivan, President and CEO of Immunomedics, said, "We are pleased to receive these new important patents, which cover a new class of agents, such as "20-2b", a DNL construct comprised of 4 interferon-a2b molecules conjugated to veltuzumab, our humanized anti-CD20 antibody in clinical trials. We are currently evaluating this construct as a potential new therapy for patients with CD20-expressing lymphomas, funded by a new grant from the National Cancer Institute's Small Business Innovation Research program."
Immunomedics is a New Jersey-based biopharmaceutical company primarily focused on the development of monoclonal antibody-based products for the targeted treatment of cancer, autoimmune and other serious diseases. We have developed a number of advanced proprietary technologies that allow us to create humanized antibodies that can be used either alone in unlabeled or "naked" form, or conjugated with radioactive isotopes, chemotherapeutics, cytokines or toxins, in each case to create highly targeted agents. Using these technologies, we have built a pipeline of therapeutic product candidates that utilize several different mechanisms of action. We also have a majority ownership in IBC Pharmaceuticals, Inc., which is developing a novel Dock-and-Lock (DNL) methodology with us for making fusion proteins and multifunctional antibodies, and a new method of delivering imaging and therapeutic agents selectively to disease, especially different solid cancers (colorectal, lung, pancreas, etc.), by proprietary, antibody-based, pretargeting methods. We believe that our portfolio of intellectual property, which includes approximately 166 patents issued in the United States and more than 375 other patents issued worldwide, protects our product candidates and technologies. For additional information on us, please visit our website at . The information on our website does not, however, form a part of this press release.
This release, in addition to historical information, may contain forward-looking statements made pursuant to the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements, including statements regarding clinical trials, out-licensing arrangements (including the timing and amount of contingent payments), forecasts of future operating results, and capital raising activities, involve significant risks and uncertainties and actual results could differ materially from those expressed or implied herein. Factors that could cause such differences include, but are not limited to, risks associated with new product development (including clinical trials outcome and regulatory requirements/actions), our dependence on our licensing partners for the further development of epratuzumab for autoimmune indications and veltuzumab for non-cancer indications, competitive risks to marketed products and availability of required financing and other sources of funds on acceptable terms, if at all, as well as the risks discussed in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Company is not under any obligation, and the Company expressly disclaims any obligation, to update or alter any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
CONTACT: Dr. Chau Cheng Director, Investor Relations & Grant Management (973) 605-8200, extension 123 firstname.lastname@example.org