SCOTGEN BIOPHARMACEUTICALS CHAIRMAN IS FORMER CETUS CEO FILDES,
SCOTGEN BIOPHARMACEUTICALS CHAIRMAN IS FORMER CETUS CEO FILDES, who will head the newly formed company, combining the operations of Menlo Park, Calif.-based Vascor and the Scottish firm Scotgen Ltd. Robert Fildes' resigned from Cetus in August 1990; he has maintained ties to the biotech industry as a board member of several companies and as an advisor on venture capital financings. Prior to his eight-year stint at Cetus, Fildes served as an exec at Biogen, Bristol-Myers and Glaxo. Privately held SBP raised $7 mil. in a first round financing in February. The company's research focuses on humanized antibody products targeting the cardiovascular, infectious disease and cancer markets. SBP scientists have developed two technologies designed to humanize antibodies: "complementarity-determining region (CDR) grafting" and a "reshaping" technique. CDR grafting combines "only the specific regions of mouse antibody essential for targeting an antigen...to a human antibody base or framework" resulting in an antibody that is over 90% human, thereby increasing the chance of acceptance by the body's immune system. Reshaping involves "altering human antibody frameworks to restore the specificity and affinity of the CDR-grafted antibody in targeting a particular antigen." The two technolgies have been used to engineer an anti- respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) antibody, which SBP has licensed worldwide to SmithKline Beecham. The two companies are collaborating on further development of the antibody, which has been shown to cure RSV infection in mice and cattle, SBP said. Other infectious diseases targeted by SBP include HIV, cytomegalovirus, varicella-zoster, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and rabies; the company plans to in-license murine antibodies and then apply its humanization technologies to minimize immune responses. In the cardiovascular area, SBP is developing diagnostic and therapeutic products based on the "patented discovery of a unique molecular marker," Z2D3, for atherosclerotic plaque. Clinical trials for an in vivo imaging product to help diagnose coronary, cerebral and peripheral lesions are expected to commence by the end of 1993; the Ethyl Corp. has an option to license the product in the U.S. following an equity investment by Gryphon Ventures, a limited partner with Ethyl. Another collaborative agreement, with Sloan-Kettering Memorial Cancer Institute and the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, is directed at humanizing four monoclonal antibodies, including one to treat ovarian cancer and one aimed at pancreatic cancer. SBP's research will be conducted in Aberdeen, Scotland; product development, clinical trials, manufacturing and marketing will be based in California. The company plans to market hospital products on its own in the U.S. and Europe and seek partners for non-hospital products and other foreign markets. In addition to Fildes, management includes President and Chief Scientific Officer William Harris, PhD, Scotgen Ltd.'s founder and a professor of genetics at the University of Aberdeen. Chief Operating Officer Francis Chen, PhD, was previously president, CEO and co-founder of Vasocor. SBP has 31 employees.
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