ImClone Systems Inc. announced Monday that the U.S. Patentand Trademark Office has issued patent No. 5,185,438 coveringthe murine FLK-2 receptor gene.

The patent is assigned to Princeton University and is licensedexclusively to ImClone (NASDAQ:IMCL) of New York.

The totipotent stem cell receptor FLK-2 is found onhematopoietic stem cells in the bone marrow; thesedifferentiate into both red and white blood cell lineages. Assuch, totipotent stem cells serve as prime targets fordeveloping new therapies for conditions that are characterizedby the loss or destruction of hematopoietic cells.

To this end, ImClone and its scientific collaborators at Princetonare characterizing a ligand that binds to the FLK-2 receptor andis believed to stimulate the proliferation and differentiation oftotipotent stem cells.

As well, ImClone signed a $35 million collaboration in Januarywith the Chugai Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. of Japan to developblood cell growth factors that target the FLK-2 receptor. Growthfactors directed at FLK-2 may be able to reconstitute entire cellpopulations that are often destroyed through chemotherapyand radiation therapy.

ImClone's stock closed Monday at $10 a share, up 63 cents. --Jennifer Van Brunt

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