Washington Editor

Protein Design Labs Inc. and Abbott Laboratories entered a long-term agreement that gives Abbott broad access to PDL's technology for antibody humanization.

Neither firm would discuss the financial arrangements outside a prepared statement, which said the deal includes potential milestone payments as well as royalties on sales of any antibody humanized by either party under the agreement.

Humanization is a process by which antibodies with highly potent therapeutic properties are engineered to consist of primarily human sequences while retaining their therapeutic properties. Humanization technology is a strategic component to Abbott's goal of generating antibodies targeted to unmet medical needs, a statement released by the Abbott Park, Ill.-based company said.

Elizabeth Hoff, senior communications specialist for Abbott, told BioWorld Today that Abbott's therapeutic interests include immunology, oncology, antivirals, neuroscience, metabolic diseases and other areas. However, she said the firm has not specified on which areas the agreement will focus.

Of the deal, Jim Goff, senior director of corporate communications for Fremont, Calif.-based PDL, told BioWorld Today, "We are obviously very pleased to partner with a company such as Abbott. I think this continues to show that our technology in humanization has appeal to potential partners. We've said repeatedly that we expect to do one to two of these humanization or patent license agreements per year, so we are on track for that. We obviously think we have one of the leading humanization and antibody technologies in the marketplace, and this helps to continue to validate that."

PDL's stock (NASDAQ:PDLI) fell 66 cents Monday to close at $18.24.

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