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LIPOSOME CO. WILL HAVE HEPATITIS AND HEPATOMA PRODUCT RIGHTS

Executive Summary

LIPOSOME CO. WILL HAVE HEPATITIS AND HEPATOMA PRODUCT RIGHTS in the U.S. and Japan for drugs developed through a venture with a regional unit of the Belgian govt., Belgian capital venture groups, and a Belgian University. Celltarg, the new company formed by the venture, will "combine the drug targetting technology of the Universite Catholique de Louvain (UCL) with the controlled drug delivery technology of Liposome to treat diseases of the liver, particularly malaria, hepatoma and hepatitis," Liposome said in press material announcing the agreement. Formed in 1981, Princeton, N.J.-based Liposome specializes in lipid encapsulation technology, including liposomes. The company explained that with its liposome drug delivery system "predetermined doses of medically useful compounds can be entrapped in either the lipid layers or the aqueous spaces of liposomes and then strategically released at specific body sites." The firm has research and development agreements with seven firms, including Sandoz, Abbott, and Lilly. Lilly has a 10% interest in Liposome.The agreements are for "the controlled release of a number of peptides, human and animal antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs; the solubilization of several commercially important drugs; and for diagnostic products," the firm said. The company indicated that some products could begin clinicals within a year. Liposome noted that negotiations are in progress regarding other projects "with more than a dozen prominent pharmaceutical companies in Europe, Asia and the U.S." Liposome also indicated that it plans to develop and market "several of its discoveries with its own resources." Its initial efforts are focused on dermal and ophthalmic products. Under the terms of the Belgian venture, Celltarg will have worldwide commercialization rights to malaria products developed, and rights to commercialize hepatitis and hepatoma products outside the U.S. and Japan. Celltarg will also be the commercialization arm of "all significant developments arising from research at UCL," Liposome said in the release. The Belgian venture capital groups, the Compagnie de Development des Biotechnologies and the Compagnie de Development Agroalimentaie (CDB/CDA) and Liposome will jointly fund and own Celltarg. Liposome will own 40%, CDB/CDA and future employees of Celltarg 20%. The govt. of the Walloon Region of Belgium will fund Celltarg research with $3 mil. In return for the govt. funding, Liposome will establish laboratory and office facilities in Wallonia. The facilities are scheduled to begin operations by January 1986.

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