MORRIS PLAINS, N.J., May 7, 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, today announced that it has received notice that its patent application for "Delivery system for cytotoxic drugs by bispecific antibody pretargeting," will issue as US patent No. 8,435,539 today. This patent relates to compositions for pretargeting delivery of therapeutic agents for use with bispecific antibodies generated by the Company's proprietary DOCK-AND-LOCK™ (DNL™) protein conjugation technology. The allowed claims under the patent cover the use of conjugates of therapeutic agents, such as SN-38, for cancer or other diseases, until the year 2026. SN-38 is the active form of, and about three orders of magnitude more potent than, irinotecan or CPT-11,an FDA-approved drug for metastatic colorectal cancer treatment. The powerful cancer drug cannot be administered systemically to patients because of its toxicity and poor solubility in water. We have conjugated SN-38 to two of our humanized antibodies, labetuzumab and hRS7, for targeted delivery to cancer cells. The two antibody-drug conjugates are being evaluated in separate Phase I trials for solid cancer therapy. The Company has also received notice that its patent application for "Combining radioimmunotherapy and antibody-drug conjugates for improved cancer therapy," will issue as US patent No. 8,435,529 today. The new patent covers the use of clivatuzumab and hRS7, and fragments thereof, for the treatment of pancreatic cancer and other forms of cancer. The allowed claims protect the use of yttrium-90-labeled clivatuzumab, which is being developed for the treatment of patients with advanced or metastatic pancreatic cancer, and hRS7-SN-38 until 2023. In addition, IBC Pharmaceuticals, Inc., the Company's majority-owned subsidiary, has received notice that additional claims for the patent family,"Dimeric alpha interferon PEGylated site-specifically shows enhanced and prolonged efficacy in vivo," will issue as U.S. patent no. 8,435,540 today.
The new claims, which will expire in March 2026, cover the use of PEGylated alpha interferon created by DNL™ for the treatment of autoimmune diseases that include multiple sclerosis and ulcerative colitis.The Company's strength in intellectual property was recently recognized by the IEEE Spectrum Patent Power Scorecards, which ranked Immunomedics tenth in the Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals category, based on the number and quality of its U.S. patents issued in 2011, as reflected in characteristics such as growth, impact, originality, and general applicability of the patents. The top-10 ranking, above industry giants such as Amgen and Merck, evidences a substantial improvement in the quality and quantity of U.S. patents issued to Immunomedics in calendar year 2011. Every other company in the top 10 has annual sales in the billion dollar range. Considering its intellectual property strength relative to available resources, Immunomedics is the top company in its class. "We are pleased to receive these new patents and the recognition from IEEE Spectrum," commented Cynthia L. Sullivan, President and Chief Executive Officer. "These achievements are the result of the quality of research and development at Immunomedics, and its strong patent prosecution group. Also, for a second year in a row, we won a prestigious Thomas Alva Edison Patent Award from the Research and Development Council of New Jersey." "Our intellectual property portfolio is an important asset in our continuing licensing efforts for these and other new therapeutics, as well as our novel approaches to disease management," added Ms. Sullivan. 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™) method 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 222 active patents in the United States and more than 400 foreign patents, protects our product candidates and technologies. Our strength in intellectual property has resulted in the top-10 ranking in the 2012 IEEE Spectrum Patent Power Scorecards in the Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals category. 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, potential collaborations, 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 any cash payment that the Company might receive in connection with a sublicense involving a third party and UCB, which is not within the Company's control, new product development (including clinical trials outcome and regulatory requirements/actions), our dependence on our licensing partners for the further development of epratuzumab 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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