Immunomedics Confirms Funding of Department of Defense Clinical Trial Grant for Milatuzumab in Lupus
MORRIS PLAINS, N.J., Sept. 30, 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 the beginning of a three-year grant from the Department of Defense (DOD) totaling more than $1.6 million to evaluate milatuzumab as a treatment of patients with lupus.
Funded by the Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program of the DOD, the clinical trial will evaluate milatuzumab, our proprietary humanized anti-CD74 antibody, in a subcutaneous formulation in patients with lupus. Approximately 30 lupus patients will be recruited at the Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, CA, under the direction of Dr. Daniel J. Wallace, the principal clinical investigator of this project.
"We are pleased to receive this grant from the DOD, especially in light of the fact that out of 44 clinical trial applications, we were the only recipient. Additionally, in the lupus disease category, we were 1 of 2, out of 29 applications, awarded," remarked Cynthia L. Sullivan, President and Chief Executive Officer. "In addition to milatuzumab, we now have several potential products in development for the treatment of lupus," Ms. Sullivan added.
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. Our lead product candidate, epratuzumab, is currently in two Phase III clinical trials in lupus. In oncology, we are planning to launch a Phase III pivotal trial for clivatuzumab labeled with a radioisotope in advanced pancreatic cancer patients. Other solid tumor therapeutics in Phase II clinical development include 2 antibody-drug conjugates, labetuzumab-SN-38 (IMMU-130) and hRS7-SN-38 (IMMU-132). 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. DNL™ is being used particularly to make bispecific antibodies targeting cancers and infectious diseases as a T-cell redirecting immunotherapy, as well as bispecific antibodies for next-generation cancer and autoimmune disease therapies. We believe that our portfolio of intellectual property, which includes approximately 228 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.
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