Targeted Genetics Corp. has signed a licensing agreement withHoffmann-La Roche Inc. giving the Seattle-based company non-exclusive U.S. rights to interleukin-2 recombinant DNA for use indeveloping gene therapies to treat HIV and cytomegalovirus.Jon Case, Targeted Genetics' director of corporate development, saidclinical trials are expected to begin next year using the IL-2 gene withthe company's cytotoxic T lymphocyte-based immunotherapy.Case said Targeted Genetics intends to incorporate regulated IL-2genes into antigen-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL). Themodified CTLs are designed to enhance production of killer T cells toattack the targeted disease.The trials, Case added, also will involve testing Targeted Genetics'HyTk safety genes, which are intended to discontinue the therapy ifunexpected negative side effects develop.Terms of the licensing agreement with Hoffmann-La Roche, of Nutley,N.J., were not disclosed. Hoffmann-La Roche last week revised itsagreement with Japan-based Ajinomoto Co. concerning the latter's IL-2 gene and fusion proteins. The new deal gave Hoffmann-La Rocherights to sell the technology worldwide, except in Japan and otherAsian countries.Targeted Genetics also plans to file an investigational new drugapplication this year to conduct clinical trials of a gene therapy basedon a modified adeno-associated virus vector for treatment of cysticfibrosis. _ Charles Craig
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