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Jun 29, 2007

Genmab Reclaims Antibody License from Merck

  • Genmab regained all rights to the HuMax-CD4® antibody candidate from Merck Serono. Genmab says it will continue the ongoing Phase II development of the antibody against noncutaneous T-cell lymphoma and the Phase III study in cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL).

    Genmab also plans to expand trials into earlier-stage patients to assess the drug in combination with approved therapies for CTCL. The company confirmed plans to develop a UniBody™ product targeting the CD4 receptor as a potential candidate for the prevention or slowing of HIV-1 infection and AIDS. UniBody is an antibody technology that creates a stable, smaller antibody format with a longer anticipated therapeutic window than current small antibody formats, Genmab notes.

    Laboratory studies in an immunodeficient mouse model, where animals were reconstituted with human blood cells, showed HuMax-CD4 to effectively block HIV-1 replication and reduce depletion of CD4+ T-cells by the virus, according to Genmab. A UniBody targeting CD4 represents a promising drug candidate that may prevent or slow HIV-1 infection and AIDS and spare T-cells.

    Worldwide rights to HuMax-CD4 were licensed to Merck Serono in August 2005. Regaining rights to HuMax-CD4 will not influence Genmab's financial guidance for 2007.

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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

Do you agree that ecstasy should be studied for its potential therapeutic benefits?

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