PARIS - The U.S. Patent Office granted Immuno-Designed Molecules (IDM) a patent for its process for preparing cells derived from human blood monocytes and utilizing them as active pharmaceutical substances. The patent, No. 6,051,432, describes the new therapeutic uses of cells derived from human white globules, or Monocyte-derived Activated Killer (MAK) cells.

MAK cells associated with bispecific antibodies constitute IDM's flagship cell therapy, known as IDM-1. Its biological antitumor activity already has been demonstrated in a Phase II clinical trial, and the therapy is now in Phase III trials for the treatment of ovarian cancer. Two similar cell therapies, IDM-2 and IDM-4, are currently in Phase II trials in two other indications, bladder cancer and chronic lymphoid leukemia.

Altogether, Paris-based IDM has been granted 21 patents for its technology, seven of them in the United States, and has filed 57 more patent applications, including 17 in the U.S. This latest patent means it now has protection in the U.S. for the three key products comprising its MAK technology: cytotoxic cells derived from monocytes, cells derived from monocytes containing exogenous nucleic acids, and its MAK cell processor.

IDM recently signed a co-development and licensing agreement with the French pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Synthilabo, giving it the right to use the protein interleukin-13. IDM plans to use the protein in the preparation of therapeutic vaccines for the treatment of certain cancers, including melanoma, prostate and colorectal cancer. - James Etheridge

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