Cell Genesys Inc. has obtained exclusive worldwide rights fromDana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston to a cell adhesionmolecule believed to be a key target for the development ofdrugs to treat inflammation and cancer. The Foster City, Calif.company would not release the financial terms of theagreement.

The cell adhesion molecule (LAM-1) will be used to developtherapeutic human monoclonal antibodies. Stephen Sherwin,president and chief executive officer of Cell Genesys, said thedrug development would begin within the next 12 months. Hesaid possible applications could include, but would not belimited to, treating respiratory distress syndrome, septic shockand arthritis, in addition to some cancers.

According to the agreement, Thomas Tedder, whose laboratoryat Dana-Farber identified and characterized LAM-1, willbecome a scientific adviser to Cell Genesys in the field of celladhesion molecules. Cell Genesys will have rights to patentapplications filed by Tedder over the past several years and tothe derivative technology developed in his laboratory.

"This license from Dana-Farber for a cell adhesion molecule isthe first of several steps we will take to establish proprietypositions for specific disease targets for our human monoclonalantibody product development program," Sherwin said. Hewould not comment on other steps the company will take inthe near future.

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