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GEN News Highlights : Feb 5, 2007

AstraZeneca to Pay up to $120M for Regeneron’s Mab Discovery Platform

VelocImmune generates fully human Mabs to address clinically relevant targets of therapeutic interest.

AstraZeneca will utilize Regeneron’s VelocImmune® technology in its internal research programs to discover human Mabs. AstraZeneca will conduct the work at Cambridge Antibody Technology (CAT) in the U.K. as part of its recently stated aim of building a biopharmaceutical capability.

Under the nonexclusive license agreement, AstraZeneca will pay $20 million upfront and will make up to five additional annual payments of $20 million. It retains the ability to terminate the transaction after making the first three annual payments. Upon commercialization of any antibody products discovered utilizing VelocImmune, AstraZeneca will pay Regeneron a mid-single-digit royalty on product sales.

The VelocImmune platform generates fully human Mabs to address clinically relevant targets of therapeutic interest. Regeneron says the VelocImmune mouse mounts a robust immune response that is virtually indistinguishable from that of a wild type mouse, resulting in a reliable platform for discovering fully human Mabs.