Cell Genesys Inc. announced late Tuesday that it has received a$10 million commitment in second-phase research funding ofits human monoclonal antibody technology from JTImmunotech USA, its joint venture partner.

JT Immunotech, a subsidiary of Japan Tobacco Inc. and CellGenesys, of Foster City, Calif. formed the joint venture Xenotechin June of 1991 to commercialize the technology, whichharnesses Cell Genesys' gene targeting and related technologiesto develop a new strain of mice with genetically humanizedimmune systems that produce human monoclonal antibodies.

Cell Genesys has already received $11.4 million in R&D fundingthrough the joint venture, and expects to receive furtherfunding for the ongoing first phase of the research project.Theadditional $10 million should support the second phase throughJune of 1995.

The gene targeting technology enables precise and permanentactivation, inactivation and replacement of specific genes inliving cells. Cell Genesys is applying the technology todeveloping universal cell transplant products, humantherapeutic proteins and human monoclonal antibodies. Thefirm expects that human antibodies will be less likely toproduce an allergic response than mouse-based monoclonals,and could be used in treating chronic illnesses requiring long-term therapy such as arthritis, autoimmune disease, cancer andtransplant rejection.

Cell Genesys (NASDAQ:CEGE) completed an initial public offeringJan. 25, grossing $44 million from 4 million shares at $11. Thestock closed Tuesday at $11.00, up 50 cents a share.

-- Jennifer Van Brunt Senior Editor

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