Gene therapy company Oxford Biomedica said this week it has received a U.S. patent allowance for its Hypoxia Response Element, a switch that turns genes off and on in response to levels of oxygen. CEO Alan Kingsman said, ¿HRE is an extremely valuable asset in our technology toolbox. We anticipate it forming the basis of a number of collaborative deals. The granting of the patent in the U.S. is therefore very important to us in protecting this asset.¿

The first commercial deal for HRE was agreed to with Rhtne-Poulenc Rorer Gencell in the treatment of cardiovascular disease in December 1998. n