Exercise of Option by ImaginAb

RNS Number : 2718S
Oxford Biomedica PLC
29 November 2012








Oxford BioMedica Announces Exercise of Option by ImaginAb


-- ImaginAb acquires exclusive worldwide licence for 5T4-based imaging diagnostic --


Oxford, UK and Los Angeles, CA - 29 November 2012: Oxford BioMedica ("Oxford BioMedica" or "the Company") (LSE: OXB), the leading gene-based biopharmaceutical company, today announces that ImaginAb, Inc. ("ImaginAb"), a biotechnology company specialising in the development of engineered antibody fragments for diagnostic imaging and novel therapeutic applications, has exercised its option to acquire an exclusive worldwide licence for commercialisation of an in vivo 5T4-based imaging diagnostic.  


Following the initiation of the companies' research collaboration in 2011, ImaginAb has successfully re-engineered Oxford BioMedica's anti-5T4 antibody into a smaller protein format with kinetics suitable for in vivo diagnostic imaging of tumours expressing the 5T4 antigen.  5T4 represents an important target for therapeutics and diagnostics in oncology given its restricted expression in normal tissues and its high prevalence on both primary and metastatic tumours.  ImaginAb is preparing to initiate clinical development of the 5T4 in vivo diagnostic in 2013.


John Dawson, Chief Executive Officer of Oxford BioMedica, said: "Targeted molecular imaging for the diagnosis and staging of cancer holds significant promise in the era of personalised medicine, and we are pleased that our anti-5T4 technology has demonstrated such clear potential for cancer diagnostic imaging."


Dr Christian Behrenbruch, Chief Executive Officer of ImaginAb, said: "5T4 is an important target in oncology that has considerable diagnostic and therapeutic potential. Our highly productive collaboration with Oxford BioMedica has yielded a very promising imaging agent that is a significant addition to ImaginAb's best-in-class oncology diagnostic portfolio."


Under the terms of the agreement, Oxford BioMedica will receive an upfront option exercise payment and could receive proceeds up to a total of US$4 million in initiation and development milestone payments, in addition to royalties on product sales, subject to the achievement of certain programme objectives.




For further information, please contact:



Oxford BioMedica plc:

Lara Mott, Head of Corporate Communications


Tel: +44 (0)1865 783 000


ImaginAb, Inc.:

Chris Erdman: cerdman@macbiocom.com


Tel: +1 781 235 3060

MacDougall Biomedical Communications


Media Enquiries:

Mary Clark/Sarah Macleod/Claire Dickinson




Tel: +44 (0)20 7920 2360




Notes to editors


1. About Oxford BioMedica®

Oxford BioMedica plc (LSE: OXB) is a biopharmaceutical company developing innovative gene-based medicines and therapeutic vaccines that aim to improve the lives of patients with high unmet medical needs. The Company's technology platform includes a highly efficient LentiVector® gene delivery system, which has specific advantages for targeting diseases of the central nervous system and the eye; and a unique tumour antigen (5T4), which is an ideal target for anti-cancer therapy. Through in-house and collaborative research, Oxford BioMedica has a broad pipeline with current partners and licensees including Sanofi, Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, MolMed, Sigma-Aldrich, Biogen Idec, Emergent BioSolutions, ImaginAb and Immune Design Corp. Further information is available at www.oxfordbiomedica.co.uk and www.oxbsolutions.co.uk.


2. About ImaginAb, Inc.

ImaginAb is redefining therapeutic management by harnessing the power of antibody technology for in vivo imaging.  The company's proprietary antibody fragment platform yields actionable molecular information to guide treatment decisions in cancer and immunology. ImaginAb also collaborates with select biopharmaceutical partners to design imaging agents as companion diagnostics for therapeutic antibodies. ImaginAb's technology is positioned to deliver on the promise of personalized medicine by improving patient outcomes and reducing the cost of healthcare. For more information, visit www.imaginab.com.


3. About the 5T4 Tumour antigen

The 5T4 tumour antigen is a unique protein found on most common types of solid cancer.  It is potentially a valuable target for novel anti-cancer interventions given its restricted expression in normal tissues and its high prevalence on the surface of both primary and metastatic cancerous cells. The 5T4 tumour antigen was identified through research into the similarities between the development of the placenta during pregnancy and the progression of cancer.  5T4 is produced by both cancerous cells and also by placental and foetal cells, suggesting that the process of immunological escape in pregnancy and cancer is based on similar mechanisms.  TroVax® is Oxford BioMedica's 5T4-specific therapeutic vaccine candidate which is in Phase II development.  In collaboration with Pfizer, pre-clinical evaluation of Oxford BioMedica's 5T4-targeted antibody therapy is ongoing to optimise the product for clinical development.

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