MORRIS PLAINS, N.J., Jan. 8, 2013 (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, announced that IBC Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (IBC), a majority-owned subsidiary, has received notice that its patent application for "Multiple signaling pathways induced by hexavalent, monospecific and bispecific antibodies for enhanced toxicity to B-cell lymphomas and other diseases," will issue as U.S. patent no. 8,349,332 today. This patent, which provides coverage until 2026, concerns methods of use of hexavalent DOCK-AND-LOCK™ (DNL™) constructs, comprising antibodies and/or antigen-binding antibody fragments tethered together using the Company's patented platform technology. The allowed claims cover bispecific antibodies that bind to CD20 and CD22 antigens on B cells. The DNL™ complexes are of use for the treatment of B-cell malignancies or B-cell-related autoimmune diseases. At the 2012 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology, the Company reported potent anti-tumor activity of a new class of hexavalent bispecific antibodies targeting CD20 and CD22 in an animal model of human non-Hodgkin lymphoma. These DNL™ complexes extended the median survival time of animals in a statistically significant manner. (Please refer to the Company's press release at www.immunomedics.com/pdfs/news/2012/pr12122012.pdf for more information). "We are pleased to receive this patent. These hexavalent bispecific antibodies are more effective in killing of B cells, even in the absence of cross-linking antibodies, by inducing multiple signaling pathways in the target cell," commented Cynthia L. Sullivan, President and Chief Executive Officer. "We believe that these next-generation bispecific antibodies may contain the therapeutic properties of both CD20 and CD22 antibodies in a single construct, thus avoiding administration and costs of two antibodies that appear to show complementary and enhanced activity when combined," Ms. Sullivan further remarked.