MORRIS PLAINS, N.J., March 24, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Immunomedics, Inc. (Nasdaq:IMMU), a biopharmaceutical company primarily focused on the development of monoclonal antibody-based products for the targeted treatment of cancer, autoimmune and other serious diseases, today reported that 3 US patents were awarded. US Patent 7,910,103 issued on March 22, 2010, with claims covering the treatment of a B-cell malignancy with a therapeutic comprising a human, humanized or chimeric anti-CD22 monoclonal antibody conjugated with a drug or radioisotope, and used in combination with an unconjugated (naked) anti-CD20 antibody. This includes any anti-CD22 antibody, such as the Company's epratuzumab, conjugated with an anticancer drug or therapeutic radionuclide, combined with an anti-CD20 antibody, such as rituximab or veltuzumab. This patent is due to expire in October, 2020. Immunomedics is conducting clinical trials of epratuzumab labeled with the therapeutic radionuclide, yttrium-90, combined with veltuzumab in patients with aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), while an investigator-initiated trial is studying this combination in patients with indolent NHL. The Company also has preclinical studies underway with epratuzumab conjugated with the topoisomerase-I inhibitor, SN-38 (derived from the prodrug, irinotecan) in experimental models of NHL, both alone and in combination with veltuzumab. Veltuzumab is the Company's proprietary, humanized, anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody that has completed a Phase I/II clinical trial in non-Hodgkin lymphoma patients, and is currently being studied in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia, as well as immune thrombocytopenia. US Patent 7,919,087 will issue on April 5, 2011, covering a method of treating CD74-positive multiple myeloma with its anti-CD74 humanized monoclonal antibody, milatuzumab, either alone or conjugated with an anticancer drug. This patent is due to expire in March, 2023. Immunomedics has been conducting clinical trials of milatuzumab alone and conjugated with doxorubicin in the treatment of patients with relapsed multiple myeloma. US Patent 7,919,090 will issue on April 5, 2011, encompassing claims for treating carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA)-expressing cancers, wherein a specific anti-CEACAM5 monoclonal antibody or fragment thereof is given in combination with a cancer therapeutic agent, such as a drug, radionuclide, toxin, immunomodulator, photoactive agent, immunoconjugate, hormone, or any combinations thereof. Typical anticancer drugs that can be used in combination with this antibody are vincristine, doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide, irinotecan, oxaliplatin, gemcitabine, and 5-fluorouracil/leucovorin. The patent also provides for the anti-CEA antibody to be used in combination with other anti-cancer antibodies, such as anti-VEGF, anti-HER2/neu, and the Company's anti-mucin antibody, PAM4, being studied in pancreatic cancer patients. These other antibodies can be given as unconjugated (naked) antibodies, or conjugated with drugs. This patent is scheduled to expire in October, 2022.
The Company has conducted clinical trials with its anti-CEA humanized antibody, labetuzumab, in colorectal and breast cancer patients, as well as labetuzumab bearing a therapeutic radionuclide in several trials of patients with colorectal cancer. In addition to colorectal and breast cancers, CEA is expressed by many head-and-neck, esophageal, medullary thyroid, stomach, pancreas, uterine, ovarian, and urinary bladder cancers. Preclinical studies have shown that administering labetuzumab in combination with irinotecan was effective in controlling the growth of transplanted human colonic cancers, as well as in combination with DTIC in human medullary thyroid cancers.Cynthia L. Sullivan, MS, MBA, President and CEO of Immunomedics, commented: "We are pleased to gain these patents directly covering some of our products and technologies, with fairly long periods of coverage. Each of these three patents protects an important product or technology being pursued by us." "They are also being prosecuted in many other countries," she added. About Immunomedics Immunomedics is a New Jersey-based biopharmaceutical company primarily focused on the development of monoclonal antibody-based products for the targeted treatment of cancer, autoimmune and other serious diseases. We have developed a number of advanced proprietary technologies that allow us to create humanized antibodies that can be used either alone in unlabeled or "naked" form, or conjugated with radioactive isotopes, chemotherapeutics, cytokines or toxins, in each case to create highly targeted agents. Using these technologies, we have built a pipeline of therapeutic product candidates that utilize several different mechanisms of action. We also have a majority ownership in IBC Pharmaceuticals, Inc., which is developing a novel Dock-and-Lock (DNL) methodology with us for making fusion proteins and multifunctional antibodies, and a new method of delivering imaging and therapeutic agents selectively to disease, especially different solid cancers (colorectal, lung, pancreas, etc.), by proprietary, antibody-based, pretargeting methods. We believe that our portfolio of intellectual property, which includes approximately 168 patents issued in the United States and more than 400 patents issued worldwide, protects our product candidates and technologies. For additional information on us, please visit our website at www.immunomedics.com. The information on our website does not, however, form a part of this press release. This release, in addition to historical information, may contain forward-looking statements made pursuant to the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements, including statements regarding clinical trials, out-licensing arrangements (including the timing and amount of contingent payments), forecasts of future operating results, and capital raising activities, involve significant risks and uncertainties and actual results could differ materially from those expressed or implied herein. Factors that could cause such differences include, but are not limited to, risks associated with new product development (including clinical trials outcome and regulatory requirements/actions), our dependence on our licensing partners for the further development of epratuzumab for autoimmune indications and veltuzumab for non-cancer indications, competitive risks to marketed products and availability of required financing and other sources of funds on acceptable terms, if at all, as well as the risks discussed in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Company is not under any obligation, and the Company expressly disclaims any obligation, to update or alter any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
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