TargeTech Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of The Immune ResponseCorp., announced that Chugai Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. has licensedrights to its hepatitis B antisense treatment. Chugai's exclusive licensecovers Japan, China, South Korea and Taiwan.Chugai, of Japan, will be responsible for research and development inthe countries covered by its license. TargeTech, of Carlsbad, Calif.,will get licensing fees, research and development funding, milestonepayments and royalties. TargeTech retains all rights in the rest of theworld. Financial terms were not disclosed."The technology is a delivery mechanism whereby a therapeuticproduct can be attached to a delivery molecule that a has a proteinreceptor residing only on the liver," Charles Cashion, vice president,finance, of Immune Response, told BioWorld. "With this mechanism,we are going to attach an antisense nucleotide sequence. We believe wecan interrupt the replication of the virus in the liver."Cashion said animal model results of the technology showed promise.Immune Response currently has a 50-50 joint venture with Rhone-Poulenc Rorer Inc., of Collegeville, Pa., that has completed a PhaseII/III study of an HIV immunotherapeutic treatment. The companyhopes to start a Phase III study late this year, Cashion said.Immune Response also is in the clinic, in Phase I trials, with a T cellreceptor-based peptide therapeutic to treat rheumatoid arthritis and,separately, multiple sclerosis. _ Jim Shrine

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