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June 27, 2000

Taisho and IDEC Sign a Collaborative Agreement for Anti-MIF Antibody R&D



Taisho Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (President: Akira Uehara), and U.S. biopharmaceutical enterprise IDEC Pharmaceuticals Corporation (headquartered in San Diego, California; President and CEO: William H. Rastetter) announced the signing of a collaborative research and development agreement to develop and commercialize antibody therapeutics against macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) for the treatment of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.

MIF is a pro-inflammatory mediator, which can override the anti-inflammatory activities of corticosteroids. The regulating capabilities of MIF are also thought to be effective in treating asthma, glomerulonephritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

IDEC has developed high-affinity monoclonal antibodies. The recent results of this cell- and gene-level disease research are being used in efforts to realize an effective breakthrough treatment for inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, such as asthma, of which the number of sufferers grows yearly.

Under the agreement, Taisho will receive exclusive commercialization rights for Asia, Europe and Oceania in exchange for research contributions, milestone payments and other product-related royalty fees paid to IDEC. However, IDEC retains the option to convert these rights - from exclusive to co-exclusive - in Europe and other selected countries outside of Asia. Details of development arrangements, including indication, will be clarified between the two companies at a later date.

IDEC employs research in the area of antibodies to develop and commercialize treatments and diagnostic methods for cancer, as well as for inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Including this agreement with Taisho, IDEC has enjoyed success with five different Japanese partners in development projects of advanced treatments involving antibodies.

As an industry-leading pharmaceutical company, Taisho is committed to the research and development of over-the-counter drugs, and we actively seek cooperative engagements with biopharmaceutical enterprise. This is Taisho's second collaborative effort with IDEC. Seikagaku Corporation joined in our first joint research project on anti-CD23 monoclonal antibodies.

IDEC Pharmaceuticals Corporation
Established 1986
President William H. Rastetter
Head Office San Diego, CA, USA