IDEC Pharmaceuticals Corp. said it has licensed exclusivemarketing rights in Europe and other territories to BoehringerIngelheim International GmbH for therapeutics to treat B-celllymphoma.

The agreement, the terms of which weren't disclosed, coversIDEC's panel of anti-idiotype antibodies for treating B-celllymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia and AIDS-relatedlymphoma. IDEC's "anti-ids" are in Phase III clinical trials totreat B-cell lymphoma. The other two indications are still inpre-clinical trials, said Clifford Orent, IDEC's senior vicepresident and chief operating officer.

B cells are the immune system cells that produce and secreteantibodies, the proteins that recognize and bind to foreignmolecules (antigens). On their surfaces, B cells have anantibody molecule that functions as a receptor that recognizes aspecific antigen. That receptor is called the idiotype.

IDEC's anti-idiotype antibodies recognize those receptors on Bcell tumors and bind to them. Once they are attached, theycause the suppression of those malignant cells, said Dr. RichardMiller, IDEC's vice president of medical research.

IDEC, which is privately held and is based in La Jolla, Calif., willmarket the product in North America under the name Specifid.IDEC's Japanese partner, the Institute of Immunology Co. Ltd. ofTokyo, has marketing rights in Japan and parts of Asia.Boehringer's rights include markets not covered by IDEC or theInstitute of Immunology. -- Karen Bernstein

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