T Cell Sciences Inc. on Thursday said it signed a previouslyannounced product development and distribution agreementwith AB Astra covering products resulting from the biotechcompany's work with T cell antigen receptors.

The agreement could provide up to $32 million in revenues toT Cell (NASDAQ:TCEL) over the next several years. Thecompany's shares rose 38 cents to $13.25.

The agreement covers Monogen monoclonal antibodies andPeptigen peptides. They act as immunomodulators to treatautoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, multiplesclerosis, Crohn's disease and sarcoidosis, and T cell cancers.

Cambridge, Mass.-based T Cell is to receive milestone paymentsof about $15 million over the next 30 months, including a $1.5million payment by today for work done since negotiationsbegan last April. The first phase of the agreement coverspreclinical and early clinical trials.

To retain rights to products developed and options on potentialproducts, Astra would have to make payments that could totalup to $17 million over two years in the second phase of theagreement. Astra of Sodertalje, Sweden, also would have tofund or perform one-half of any additional productdevelopment.

T Cell has retained exclusive North American marketing rightsto rheumatoid arthritis products, the largest disease indicationcovered in the agreement. Astra has exclusive worldwide rightsto all other products. T Cell has exclusive worldwidemanufacturing rights for all products and, for sales of productsto Astra, will receive a transfer price based on a percentage ofAstra's net sales to customers. -- KB

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