MilleGen and LFB Sign Research Partnership Agreement to Develop New Generation of Therapeutic Monoclonal Antibodies

MilleGen, a biopharmaceutical company focused on Directed Molecular Evolution (DME), and LFB S.A. (Laboratoire français du Fractionnement et des Biotechnologies S.A.), a leading pharmaceutical supplier to French hospitals, announced today that they have entered into a strategic collaboration.

TOULOUSE and LES ULIS, France | Mar  22, 2007 |
MilleGen, a biopharmaceutical company focused on Directed Molecular Evolution (DME), and LFB S.A. (Laboratoire français du Fractionnement et des Biotechnologies S.A.), a leading pharmaceutical supplier to French hospitals, announced today that they have entered into a strategic collaboration. Under the terms of the agreement, the two companies will design a new generation of recombinant monoclonal antibodies (MAbs), which are therapeutically and economically more effective. In order to achieve this, MilleGen and LFB will work to improve the MAbs pharmacokinetics and effectors functions, which play a key role in their therapeutic capacity.

Antibodies are one of the fastest growing segments of the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. Despite significant progress, traditional development of antibody-based therapies has had limited success. For this reason, there is a need for R&D programs focusing on new approaches, such as discovering ways of enhancing antibody efficacy, allowing smaller doses and lower costs.

The deal brings together MilleGen's DME platform Mutagen(TM) and LFB's know-how and expertise in therapeutic antibody discovery and development. This will allow the generation of a new and innovative platform dedicated to the enhancement of therapeutic efficacy. MilleGen will apply its Mutagen(TM) technology to genetically engineer the Fc region of the antibody as a first phase of the project. The second step will involve LFB S.A. in conducting pre-clinical evaluation of antibody candidates, in particular in the field of onco-hematology.

The project led by MilleGen and LFB S.A. will also include an academic laboratory (Inserm U858, Toulouse, France), involved in the molecular and cellular engineering of recombinant antibodies.

Both partners obtained grants from the French government for this R&D project, as a result of selection by the "Cancer BioSanté Midi Pyrénées" competitiveness area for special status.
Financial terms and conditions were not disclosed.


"We are delighted to have reached this agreement with LFB, a leading specialist in monoclonal antibodies in France," said Hakim Kharrat, CEO at MilleGen. "MilleGen's partnership with LFB is a significant endorsement of our whole molecular evolution technology platform."

"The collaboration with MilleGen represents an excellent opportunity to consolidate LFB's proprietary integrated technology platform for the improvement of the functional properties of monoclonal antibodies," said Jean-François Prost, Scientific & Medical Operations Director of LFB, SA. "It illustrates our strategic commitment to biotechnological approaches to comply with our public health mission to develop innovative therapeutic solutions for the treatment of cancer and rare diseases."

About LFB group
With sales of 268 million Euros in 2006, LFB is the fourth largest pharmaceutical company supplying drugs to hospitals in France and a major European producer of plasma-derived medicinal products. LFB provides to healthcare professionals a wide range of 20 plasma-derived medicinal products in three therapeutic fields: Hemostasis, Anesthesia-intensive Care and Immunology. LFB's medicinal products are prescribed to address emergencies but also to manage chronic diseases that require lifelong treatment. With 1,300 employees, among which 200 belong to R&D, LFB is recognized as one of the major European players in the field of therapeutic proteins with expertise in protein downstream processing, characterization as well as biological safety. LFB focuses its discovery and development activities on monoclonal antibodies and therapeutic proteins for rare and severe diseases mixing and synergizing different technologies: plasma purification, cell culture, transgenic production. Ideally placed to become a driving force in new technological and therapeutic fields, LFB uses its technology platform, Emabling(R), to develop highly functionally optimized antibodies while its R&D portfolio contains high-potential projects calling on innovative technology.

For more information about LFB S.A. visit http://www.lfb.fr

About MilleGen
MilleGen is a biopharmaceutical company focused on Directed Molecular Evolution (DME) and engaged in the research and development of human therapeutic antibodies. MilleGen, founded in 1999 and based in Toulouse, France, has developed and patented a powerful DME method (MutaGen(TM)) to generate molecular diversity, which can be applied to any protein-based products. Mutagen(TM) protein optimization technology occupies the heart of an efficient platform dedicated to the antibody discovery and development process. This platform allows discovery of antibody candidates and their optimization into a highly potent product and the expression of a whole human antibody molecule ready to enter clinical development.

For more information about MilleGen visit http://www.millegen.com

SOURCE: MilleGen

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