Roche and Epitomics Enter Rabbit Monoclonal Antibody Technology Research Agreement
Nutley, NJ and Burlingame, CA - October 18, 2005
Roche and Epito mics, Inc. today announced a research agree ment granting Roche a license to Epito mics’ rabbit monoclonal antibody technology (RabMab technology) for the discovery and develop ment of monoclonal antibodies to treat cancer and other diseases. In a departure fro m conventional methods of biological drug discovery, which use mouse antibodies, Epito mics’ unique approach utilizes monoclonal antibodies fro m rabbits, potentially i mproving the quality and efficiency of drug discovery. Epitomics will receive event payments and future royalties on worldwide sales of products developed from RabMab technology.
“We are very pleased that Roche has chosen Epitomics as a partner to enhance its drug discovery program. Our agreement with Roche is a solid validation of RabMab technology by a large pharma partner,” said Dr. Guo-Liang Yu, CEO and President of Epitomics, Inc. “RabMabs represent a new approach for the development of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies. Its advantages include ultra-high affinity, novel epitope recognition and ease of validation in preclinical studies.”
“Roche believes that innovation is driven by truly differentiated scientific and technological approaches to medicine. In line with our Therapeutic Protein Initiative, this partnership offers a progressive and complementary approach to biologic drug discovery,” said Klaus Strein, Roche’s Head of Pharma Research, Penzberg, Germany.
RabMab technology is used for the discovery and development of monoclonal antibodies to treat cancer and other diseases. Compared to currently available MAb technology on the market, such as mouse hybridomas, Epitomics' technology can generate RabMAbs more efficiently and can offer RabMAbs with superior binding affinity and bioactivity in a wide variety of biological assays. The high throughput and robust nature of the technology allows for the simultaneous discovery of disease targets and potential therapeutic antibodies in the same experiments, significantly shortening the drug discovery and development cycle.
Roche’s Therapeutic Protein Initiative (TPI)
Created as a strategic research priority in 2001, the Therapeutic Protein Initiative’s aim is to increase the number and quality of therapeutic protein projects in Roche’s research portfolio. The TPI incorporates multiple research sites, therapeutic areas, Roche departments, and external partnerships to meet coordinated goals and objectives. Currently, more than 20 projects from five different therapeutic areas contribute to Roche’s TPI portfolio.
Roche as a Partner
Roche is a valued partner to over 50 companies worldwide. In the past two years, Roche has led the pharmaceutical industry in the number of product deals signed. In 2004, Roche Pharma Partnering brought nine potential products into the company and strengthened Roche’s positions in oncology, virology and primary care. Roche’s alliance strategy is to create a partnering culture where innovation flourishes and the partnership grows.
Epitomics, Inc., an emerging biotechnology company, is dedicated to developing breakthrough monoclonal antibody technology for research, diagnostic and therapeutic applications. The Company utilizes a unique and proprietary RabMAb technology invented by scientists at Loyola University of Chicago and the University of California at San Francisco. Compared to currently available MAb technology on the market, such as mouse hybridoma, the Company's proprietary technology can generate RabMAbs more efficiently and can offer RabMAbs with superior binding affinity and bioactivity in a wide variety of biological assays. The Company is headquartered in Burlingame, California, and operates a wholly owned subsidiary in Hangzhou, the People's Republic of China.
About Roche – More Than a Century in the U.S. and the World
Founded in 1896 and headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is one of the world’s leading innovation-driven healthcare groups. Its core businesses are pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. Roche is one of the world’s leaders in diagnostics, the leading supplier of pharmaceuticals for cancer, as well as a leader in virology and transplantation. As a supplier of products and services for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease, the Group contributes on many fronts to improve people’s health and quality of life. Roche employs roughly 65,000 people in 150 countries, including approximately 15,000 in the United States.
Roche’s U.S. operations celebrate their American Centennial in 2005. In another milestone this year, Roche was named in January to Fortune magazine’s list of Best Companies to Work for in America. One of an increasingly rare breed of major healthcare companies that still bear their original name, Roche today has more than a dozen U.S. sites located in California, Colorado, Indiana, New Jersey and South Carolina, as well as in Puerto Rico. Roche has alliances and research and development agreements with numerous partners, including majority ownership interests in Genentech and Chugai. Roche’s Pharmaceuticals Division offers a portfolio of leading medicines in therapeutic areas including cancer, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, transplantation, dermatology and influenza. Roche’s Diagnostics Division supplies a wide array of innovative testing products and services to researchers, physicians, patients, hospitals and laboratories world-wide. For further information, please visit our worldwide and U.S. websites (Global: www.roche.com and U.S.: www.roche.us)