Centocor Inc. said Monday that it has signed an agreement withCorvas International Inc. to jointly develop and commercializemonoclonal antibody products.

Under the agreement, Centocor of Malvern, Pa., will acquire aworldwide exclusive license to Corsevin M, Corvas' firsttherapeutic product, which is in Phase I clinical trials toprevent and treat blood clotting in sepsis and shock.

Corsevin M is a monoclonal antibody-based anti-thromboticthat binds to Factor VII, a factor involved in the early stages ofcoagulation. The drug may prevent disseminated intravascularcoagulation (DIC), an inappropriate clotting in blood vesselsthat occurs in sepsis and shock.

Privately held Corvas of San Diego and Ghent, Belgium, alsogranted Centocor an exclusive option to license future MAbproducts discovered or developed by Corvas.

Centocor will make a cash license payment for an undisclosedsum as well as an equity investment in Corvas. The investmentwill increase Centocor's equity position in Corvas from 7percent to about 20 percent. Centocor was a founding investorin Corvas in 1987.

Corvas will be eligible to receive future milestone paymentsand royalties on sales by Centocor of products arising from theagreement.

As part of the agreement, Hubert Schoemaker, chairman andchief executive of Centocor, will join Corvas' board.

Centocor shares (NASDAQ:CNTO) closed up $2 at $46.75 onMonday. -- KB

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