COPIAGUE, N.Y., July 14, 1999 -- American Biogenetic Sciences,
Inc. (ABS) (Nasdaq: MABXA) announced today that it is expanding its patented Antigen-Free (AF) Mouse technology with the establishment of a presence in the People's Republic of China. This will be the first time that this unique Mouse Colony which generates highly specific monoclonal antibodies (Mabs) will be located outside of the United States. Dr. James McLinden, Vice President of Molecular Biology at ABS, will oversee the installation of the colony at the Institute of Laboratory Animal Science (ILAS) of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences (CAMS) at Beijing Union Hospital, Beijing, People's Republic of China. The core technology will continue to be housed by ABS at its subsidiary, Stellar Bio Systems, Inc., in Maryland.
The establishment of the ILAS/CAMS collaboration will allow ABS to gain access to the extensive array of technical expertise within China and provide a platform for the cost effective development and production of monoclonal antibodies. Under the collaboration agreement, ABS allows the use of its patented AF technology and will have worldwide rights to market, sell and license the antibodies developed. The initial facility, to be located in Beijing under the auspices of ILAS/CAMS, will also generate antibodies for research work performed at Chinese universities and laboratories.
“This is the culmination of a series of publicly announced understandings that commenced in 1993,” said ABS' Chairman Alfred J. Roach. “In addition we are especially interested in ILAS research developments in the area of transgenic mice. Companies such as Medarex (MEDX) and Abgenix (ABGX) in the United States have shown great therapeutic and commercial potential in this area and we believe we may be able to enhance our capabilities by merging transgenic and AF technology.”
Commenting on the ABS selection of China as a second venue for its AF mouse technology, Professor Yinong Liu, Ph.D., Director of the Institute of Laboratory Science and a member of the Board of Directors of the International Council for Laboratory Animal Science, said, “We are delighted to be able to work with this important technology. We believe it will help fill the growing global demand for highly specific monoclonal antibodies, while advancing Chinese scientific medical innovation on a number of fronts. We believe that bringing the AF and transgenic capabilities together may enhance both the precision and developmental timeframe for compounds intended for both therapeutic and diagnostic use in humans. The potential of the combined technology is boundless in oncology, haematology, immunology and fundamental biomedicine in general.”
ABS has already demonstrated the technical and commercial potential of the AF Mouse Colony with the highly specific Mabs used in its Thrombus Precursor Protein (TpP) diagnostic test used to diagnose thrombotic conditions. Antibodies generated by these means have higher affinity and specificity than those produced in conventional systems.
The Institute of Laboratory Science of Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences was established in 1980 and is the largest unit for laboratory animal research education and production in China. It has a staff of 205, twenty-one of whom are of professorial or associate professorial status. Director Liu is intimately familiar with the research needs of the United States, having spent 15 years of his career in the U.S., nine of them with the distinguished Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbour, Maine.
American Biogenetic Sciences, based in Copiague, New York, researches and develops diagnostic tests for cardiac conditions and infectious diseases, as well as new treatments for neurological disorders including epilepsy, migraine, mania, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease. ABS also seeks out new technologies and conducts research and development throughout its Global Scientific Network, in the U.S., Europe, Israel, Russia and China.
Statements in this release that are not strictly historical are “forward-looking” statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, and should be considered as subject to various risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated. For further details and a discussion of these risks and uncertainties, see the Company's Securities and Exchange Commission filings, including its annual report or Form 10-K.