ImmunoGen Inc. announced Tuesday that it has received apatent allowance on the use of its family of maytansinoidsconjugated to monoclonal antibodies specific for tumor cellantigens.

The maytansinoids -- highly toxic compounds that kill cells byinhibiting mitosis -- are linked by disulfide bonds tomonoclonal antibodies or antibody fragments, said MarkRatner, ImmunoGen's director of external communications.

These compounds are designed to target and eliminate cancercells. Mitchel Sayare, ImmunoGen's chief executive officer, saidthat this patent is "the first ImmunoGen patent for our nextgeneration of products. Using maytansinoids and other potentsmall-molecule drugs, we are developing immunoconjugates forthe treatment of solid tumors." The first clinical applicationmay be in squamous-cell carcinomas, which comprise 16percent of all cancers.

Stock in the Cambridge, Mass., company (NASDAQ:IMGN) wasup $1 a share on Tuesday to $12.25.

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