Lidak Pharmaceuticals announced Tuesday that it has obtaineda license to use Ribi ImmunoChem Research Inc.'s melanomacell lines to develop Lidak's large multivalent immunogen(LMI) technology.

In return, Lidak has granted Ribi an option for an exclusivelicense to use the LMI technology with Ribi's melanoma celllines for the treatment of melanoma if preclinical and humanclinical development of the technology prove successful.

Lidak (NASDAQ:LDAKA) of La Jolla, Calif., said it is notrestricted under the agreement from using the LMI technologyfor treating melanoma using melanoma antigens from othersources.

Ribi (NASDAQ:RIBI) of Hamilton, Mont., has an exclusive licenseto the melanoma cell lines from the University of SouthernCalifornia. Ribi uses the cell lines in the manufacture of itsMelacine melanoma theraccine, currently in two Phase IIItrials for treating melanoma.

Lidak said it hopes that the LMI technology, used with theRibi-USC melanoma cell lines, may lead to the next generationof cancer vaccines.

LMI incorporates antigenic material on cell-size microspheres,creating a "virtual" cancer cell or virus that is non-virulent,relatively large and well-recognized by the immune systemcompared with individual pieces of antigenic material.

Preclinical results of LMI in a mouse tumor model indicatedthat it stimulated a protective immune response, including asatisfactory cellular response, Lidak said.

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