Oxford Genome Sciences partners with Medarex

Oxford Genome Sciences (UK) Ltd (OGeS) has announced a second partnering agreement with Medarex, Inc.

This new agreement provides OGeS with broad access to Medarex's fully human antibody technology and will potentially enable OGeS to accelerate the development of its own pipeline of novel fully human antibodies in the field of cancer.

Under the terms of the agreement, OGeS will license Medarex's proprietary transgenic mouse technology to generate antibody therapeutics against cancer targets that OGeS identifies using its unique OGAP(R) database. OGeS will retain full worldwide rights to the new human antibodies generated, and Medarex has the right to receive license fees, milestone payments and royalties on commercial sales of any products that may result from this agreement. Further financial details were not disclosed.

Medarex's technology offers the potential for drug developers to generate high affinity fully human antibodies. OGeS will be able to potentially build a valuable and broad therapeutic antibodies pipeline by combining Medarex's technology with its OGAP database, which enables the identification of best in class targets,

In parallel, to further accelerate its pipeline development, OGeS has established a three-way agreement with Biosite Incorporated (Biosite) and Medarex. Medarex will provide access to its transgenic technology to Biosite, and Biosite will carry out the early stage antibody generation on behalf of OGeS for a potentially large number of OGeS' antibody programs. This is partly in exchange for Biosite receiving access to the OGeS diagnostic targets in colorectal and ovarian cancer. This arrangement is expected to improve OGeS' productivity to put top quality antibody therapeutic programs into development more quickly.

In addition, under a separate agreement between OGeS and Biosite, Biosite can also establish a companion diagnostic assay on certain programs selected by Biosite and OGeS. This provides OGeS with the opportunity to create a significant portfolio of personalised cancer therapeutics with companion diagnostics for many of its oncology targets.

Dr. Christian Rohlff, CEO of OGeS said: "Today's announcement is an important step in OGeS' transition from target discovery to product development potentially allowing us establish our own pipeline of antibodies in cancer based on the leading expertise of world leading antibody companies. Not only does it highlight OGeS' ability to leverage our existing partnerships with both Medarex and Biosite but also reinforces our strategy to fully exploit the commercial opportunity of our unique ability to discover new valuable targets based on our OGAP(R) database. We are now well positioned to develop our own antibody therapeutics with companion diagnostics in a very efficient and productive way, thereby establishing ourselves as a major player in the field of personalised antibody medicines."

This new agreement builds upon a collaboration between OGeS and Medarex, which was initiated in May 2006, for the discovery, development and commercialization of antibody therapeutics on a 50:50 basis. This initial joint collaboration has already led to a number of promising discovery programs which are now at various stages of preclinical research.

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