IDEC WILL RECEIVE $23 MIL. FROM JAPAN INSTITUTE OF IMMUNOLOGY
IDEC WILL RECEIVE $23 MIL. FROM JAPAN INSTITUTE OF IMMUNOLOGY under a collaborative R&D agreement announced Feb. 26. The agreement provides that IDEC will receive the $23 mil. over a two-year period. In return, the privately-held Japanese firm will gain rights in Japan and Asian countries to develop IDEC therapeutic and diagnostic products for B-cell lymphoma and diagnostic products for autoimmune disease. IDEC is a five year-old, privately-held biotech firm based in La Jolla, California. IDEC has developed a "panel" of anti-idiotype antibodies; the firm's lead product, designed for the treatment of B-cell lymphoma, is in Phase III testing in the U.S. and Canada. The company has said it plans to file a PLA for the product in 1991. In addition to product rights, the Institute of Immunology will receive IDEC preferred stock representing approximately 20% of outstanding voting shares. In conjunction with the agreement, Institute of Immunology President Tetsuo Nakamura will join IDEC's board, subject to shareholders' approval. IDEC announced separately that it has established a wholly-owned subsidiary in Japan, IDEC Seiyaku, to "work closely with IDEC's Japanese partners and...maintain close ties with academic institutions throughout the country, both for the purpose of conducting research with leading Japanese scientists and for seeking potential product development candidates in areas central to IDEC's R&D strategy." The firm has appointed Michio Nishida as representative director of IDEC Seiyaku. Nishida, who joined the firm March 1, had been manager of the research and development division of Nihoun Kokan, a steel corporation. Apart from its agreement with the Japanese firm, IDEC has begun Phase I studies in the U.S. with a treatment for malignant melanoma. The $23 mil. commitment from the Institute of Immunology brings to $60 mil. the total amount of capital that IDEC has raised through equity investments and R&D partnerships. The Institute of Immunology has collaborative agreements with other companies such as Hoffmann-La Roche, Switzerland, and Abbott in the U.S.
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