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Jan 8, 2008

Ophthotech Secures Licenses for Ophthalmic Uses of mAb from Biogen Idec and PDL

  • Biogen Idec and PDL BioPharma granted Ophthotech rights to volociximab for ophthalmic uses. The compound is a mAb targeting a5b1 integrin, a protein involved in angiogenesis.

    In return for the worldwide development and commercialization license, Biogen Idec and PDL will each receive an equity position in Ophthotech. The firms will also be paid a development milestone payments and royalties. 

    a5b1 integrin is a critical survival factor for proliferating endothelial cells involved in angiogenesis,” points out Samir Patel, M.D., president and CEO of Ophthotech. “The preclinical studies to date provide strong support for developing volociximab for ophthalmic indications. It represents a potential breakthrough for the treatment of AMD.”

    Separately, Biogen Idec and PDL are co-developing volociximab in solid tumor cancers. The companies retain rights in all other indications.



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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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