Cambridge Biotech Corp. and Genentech Inc. Tuesdayannounced a sublicensing agreement in which Genentech willpay the Worcester, Mass., company for use of the HIV proteingp120.

The amounts of the one-time licensing fee and future salesroyalties were not disclosed.

Genentech spokesman Jack Murphy told BioWorld that theagreement was made to avoid possible patent disputes.Genentech of South San Francisco, Calif., has been testing avaccine candidate and an AIDS therapeutic that are both basedon the gp120 protein.

Other sublicensees to the gp120 patent, which is owned byHarvard University and exclusively licensed to CambridgeBiotech, include Abbott Laboratories, Baxter Healthcare Corp.,Chiron Corp., Repligen Corp. and SmithKline Beecham.

Genentech is completing Phase I testing of its gp120-basedtherapeutic and expects to start Phase II/III trials by thesecond half of next year, Murphy said. The vaccine candidate isjust entering Phase I testing, he said.

Cambridge Biotech (NASDAQ:CBCX) rose 13 cents to close at$9.38. Genentech (NYSE:GNE) climbed 75 cents to $32.38. -- RF

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