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MRCT licence rights to develop potential novel immunotherapy

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London, UK, 27th January 2009 – The Medical Research Council (MRC) & MRC Technology (MRCT) have signed exclusive License and Research Collaboration agreements with Centocor, Inc., which is now known as Centocor Ortho Biotech Inc., for the development of a novel immunotherapy targeting respiratory disease.

The potential therapy was identified and characterised at the world famous MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology as part of a basic research programme. This research was quickly identified as having therapeutic potential. Further work was performed by MRCT’s Drug Discovery Group in a prime example of translational research.

Centocor Ortho Biotech Inc. has exclusively licensed patents relating to the technology and will pay development milestones and royalties on net sales that may result from the commercialisation of future products. The immunotherapy has not been disclosed at this stage.

“MRC Technology is delighted to have orchestrated this partnership between MRC scientists and a leading US biopharmaceutical company. We have great hopes for this potentially valuable product. This success heralds a new era for MRCT with greater focus on early stage drug discovery. With the support of the MRC, we are determined to develop basic research tools for potential therapeutic use more quickly and systematically. We are also extremely pleased to have the opportunity to demonstrate the value of our tools and technologies.”

Dr Dave Tapolczay, MRCT’s CEO
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