Healthcare Industry News:  immunocytokine 

Biopharmaceuticals Oncology Licensing

 News Release - March 18, 2009

Provenance Biopharmaceuticals Corp. Announces License Agreement with Merck Serono for the Development and Commercialization of Novel Immunocytokine for the Treatment of Cancer

Provenance licenses Merck Serono's anti-cancer immunocytokine, DI-Leu16-IL2, for the Treatment of Cancer

WALTHAM, Mass., March 18 -- (Healthcare Sales & Marketing Network) -- Provenance Biopharmaceuticals Corp. ("Provenance"), announced today the execution of a license agreement with Merck Serono for DI-Leu16-IL2, a potential anti-cancer therapeutic. Under this agreement, Merck Serono, which is the division for innovative prescription pharmaceuticals of the German global pharmaceutical and chemical group Merck KGaA, has granted exclusive worldwide rights to Provenance to develop and commercialize DI-Leu16-IL2. This protein therapeutic is currently being tested in an investigator sponsored clinical trial in patients with Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma at the City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte, California.

DI-Leu16-IL2 is a novel antibody-cytokine fusion protein (or "immunocytokine") targeting the B cell antigen, CD20. The molecule is one of a class of molecules developed using immunocytokine technology invented by Provenance founder, Dr. Stephen D. Gillies and previously licensed to Merck Serono. Under terms of the DI-Leu16-IL2 license agreement, Merck Serono will receive an upfront payment, various development and commercial milestones and royalties on sales. Provenance will be responsible for the clinical development and commercialization.

About Provenance

Provenance is a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on developing novel therapeutics for cancer and other serious, life-threatening diseases. The Company's engineered antibody technologies promote the body's own immune system to recognize and fight disease. Provenance is based in Waltham, Massachusetts. For more information, please go to

Source: Provenance Biopharmaceuticals

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