Genzyme Transgenics, Interferon Sciences to Collaborate on Development of Transgenic Interferon Alpha | Hepatitis Central

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Genzyme Transgenics, Interferon Sciences to Collaborate on Development of Transgenic Interferon Alpha

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. and NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J., July 28 /PRNewswire/ — Genzyme Transgenics Corporation (Nasdaq: GZTC) and Interferon Sciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: IFSC) today announced that they have agreed to develop transgenically produced versions of human interferon alpha. Under the terms of their agreement, the two companies will form a joint venture which will own the rights for the commercialization and therapeutic use of transgenically produced interferon alpha. Each party will equally contribute to costs related to the development of the transgenically produced interferon alpha products and will equally share any milestone payments or other success fees received. Genzyme Transgenics and Interferon Sciences will also equally share revenues from sales of transgenically produced interferon alpha products.

Interferon alpha is a naturally occurring human protein produced and secreted by immune system and other cells in response to viral infection. Alpha interferons are approved worldwide for seventeen indications including Hepatitis B and C, AIDS-related Kaposi’s sarcoma, melanoma, and chronic myelogenous leukemia, among other diseases, with an estimated global market of approximately $1.0 billion.

“We are pleased to be working with Interferon Sciences on the development of transgenically produced interferon alpha,” said Sandra Nusinoff Lehrman, Genzyme Transgenics’ president and chief executive officer. “We believe that transgenic production of this protein may provide a more effective and less costly therapeutic than current interferons produced from either human cells or by conventional recombinant techniques.”

Lawrence M. Gordon, chief executive officer of Interferon Sciences, stated, “We believe combining our knowledge of naturally produced alpha interferons with Genzyme Transgenics’ proprietary production method will allow us to select and develop highly potent alpha interferon product(s) in greater amounts than are presently feasible. In addition, naturally occurring human alpha interferon proteins are known to contain sugars (glycosylation). Genzyme Transgenics’ production method has the potential to produce alpha interferons that are glycosylated. We believe these advantages will allow our joint venture to effectively compete in the worldwide marketplace.”

Genzyme Transgenics Corporation is engaged in the application of transgenic technology to enable the development and production of recombinant proteins and monoclonal antibodies for medical uses. Primedica Corporation, the company’s preclinical testing business, provides non-clinical development and testing services to pharmaceutical, biotechology, medical device, and other companies. Genzyme Transgenics is also developing cancer vaccines with the National Cancer Institute. Genzyme Corp. owns approximately 41 percent of the outstanding stock of Genzyme Transgenics and has allocated these shares to Genzyme General (Nasdaq: GENZ).

Interferon Sciences, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company engaged in the study, manufacture and sale of pharmaceutical products based on its highly purified, natural-source multispecies alpha interferon. Interferon Sciences’ ALFERON N Injection(R) (Interferon Alfa-n3) product has been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of certain types of genital warts, and is being studied for potential use in other indications.

Interferon Sciences also has other natural-source alpha interferon formulations in various stages of development for the potential treatment of viral and immune system diseases.

The forward-looking statements contained herein reflect the current views of both companies’ management with respect to future events and financial performance. These forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, the risk that Interferon Sciences will run out of cash before it can complete the program, Genzyme Transgenics’ ability to produce interferon alpha in the milk of transgenic animals, its potential improved efficacy in the treatment of certain diseases, and the ability to produce it in significantly greater quantities than currently possible and those risks and uncertainties detailed in both companies’ periodic reports and registration statements filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

SOURCE Genzyme Transgenics Corporation