UCB Licenses BioWa’s POTELLIGENT(R) Technology for Use in Antibody Research and Development

2007-02-05 15:01 999

PRINCETON, N.J. and SLOUGH, England, Feb. 5 /Xinhua-PRNewswire/ -- BioWa, Inc. and UCB (Euronext: UCB), announced today that they have entered into an agreement which provides UCB with access to BioWa’s patented POTELLIGENT(R) technology platform for the development of antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) enhanced antibodies. The agreement grants UCB non-exclusive rights to research and develop antibodies for an undisclosed number of targets. In return, BioWa will receive license fees, milestone payments and royalties on products developed by UCB. Details of financial terms were not disclosed.

"We are very pleased that UCB, a company that is among the worldwide leaders in antibody research, will incorporate POTELLIGENT(R) as part of its discovery platform. The signing of this agreement is another example of the wide acceptance of the technology’s potential to develop better antibodies with enhanced therapeutic efficacy," said Dr. Nobuo Hanai, BioWa’s President and CEO. "Collaborating with UCB advances the BioWa mission to significantly aid the development of more effective targeted treatments for cancer and other life-threatening and debilitating diseases."

"We are excited to add the BioWa technology to our range of options for adapting the structure of our antibody products to optimally address the therapeutic need," said Dr. Neil Weir, Senior VP UCB Research.

About POTELLIGENT(R) Technology

ADCC activity is an important function of the human immune system, whereby immune cells can kill target cells, e.g. cancer cells. Several anti-cancer therapeutic antibodies that are on the market today have ADCC activity as one of their mechanisms for the killing of tumor cells. Enhancement of this activity is one promising approach in the next generation of antibody technologies.

POTELLIGENT(R) technology involves the reduction of the amount of fucose in the carbohydrate structure of an antibody using a proprietary fucosyltransferase-knockout CHO cell line as a production cell. Research shows that POTELLIGENT(R) technology significantly enhances ADCC activity of an antibody in vitro, thereby increasing the potential for improved activity in vivo.

About BioWa, Inc.

BioWa is a wholly owned subsidiary of Kyowa Hakko Kogyo Co., Ltd., Japan’s leading pharmaceutical and largest biotech company, and is the exclusive worldwide licensor of POTELLIGENT(R) technology, which creates high ADCC monoclonal antibodies. Currently, BioWa is developing ADCC enhanced monoclonal antibody-based therapeutics to fight cancer and other life-threatening and debilitating diseases and both BioWa and Kyowa have POTELLIGENT(R) antibody products in various clinical stages. BioWa creates and develops enhanced ADCC antibodies for itself and others, offering a full range of antibody discovery and development capabilities. For more information about BioWa, visit its web site at .

POTELLIGENT(R) is the trademark of Kyowa Hakko Kogyo Co., Ltd. All rights are reserved.

About UCB

UCB ( ) is a leading global biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the research, development and commercialization of innovative pharmaceutical and biotechnology products in the fields of central nervous system disorders, allergy/respiratory diseases, immune and inflammatory disorders and oncology -- UCB focuses on securing a leading position in severe disease categories. Employing over 8,300 people in over 40 countries, UCB achieved revenue of 2.3 billion euro in 2005. UCB is listed on the Euronext Brussels Exchange. Worldwide headquarters are located in Brussels, Belgium.

Source: BioWa, Inc.