ImClone Systems Inc. announced Thursday that it has receiveda notice of allowance on a U.S. patent on a murine totipotentstem cell receptor, FLK-2.

The New York biopharmaceutical company (NASDAQ:IMCL) willget an exclusive license on the patent, which is assigned toImClone's scientific collaborators at Princeton University.

Totipotent stem cells, which are located in the bone marrow,produce red and white blood cells.

"As parent cells of mature blood cell lineages, totipotent stemcells serve as prime targets in the effort to develop newapproaches for therapeutic treatments of conditionscharacterized by the loss or destruction of hematopoietic cells,"said Samuel Waksal, ImClone's president and chief executiveofficer. "Such treatments include cancer therapy and bonemarrow transplantation."

ImClone and Princeton researchers have cloned the receptor'sgene, and are now screening both murine and human stromalcell lines for a receptor-binding ligand, totipotent stem cellfactor (T-SCF), company spokeswoman Mary Mirabella toldBioWorld. "We believe the ligand will be a naturally occurringprotein," Mirabella added.

ImClone is also working to produce a recombinant version of T-SCF.

-- Jennifer Van Brunt Senior Editor

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