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Jennerex and Transgene cancer partnership

Promising solid tumour treatment, JX-594, will be developed and commercialised under exclusive agreement

Jennerex, a biotherapeutic company focused on targeted oncolytic products for cancer, and Transgene, a biopharmaceutical company specialising in immunotherapeutic products, are to partner to develop and commercialise JX-594 for the treatment of solid tumours.

JX-594, Jennerex's lead cancer biotherapeutic product, is reported to have shown anticancer activity and a well-tolerated safety profile in phase I and phase II clinical trials and objective tumour response has been demonstrated in a variety of cancers, including liver, colon, kidney, lung and melanoma.

Transgene has been awarded exclusive rights to develop and commercialise JX-594 in Europe, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and the Middle East, with Jennerex and Transgene co-developing it worldwide. Transgene will be responsible for development costs and clinical development in its licensed territories, pursuant to the JX-594 global development plan. Transgene will commercialise and hold the right to manufacture JX-594 in its agreed territory.

As part of the agreement, Transgene has made an up-front equity investment in Jennerex and Jennerex is further eligible to earn up to $116m in development and registration milestones, as well as double digit royalties on a tiered structure. In addition, Jennerex has an option for co-promotion and profit sharing in the five major European countries.

Initially, the development plan will focus on Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) and colorectal cancer. The companies intend to initiate a large randomised controlled phase IIb/III clinical programme in HCC patients.

A phase II study in colorectal cancer patients who are refractory or intolerant to Erbitux is also planned.

David H Kirn, president and CEO of Jennerex, said: "We believe that JX-594 has the potential to significantly improve and prolong the lives of patients with liver, colorectal, and other types of cancer based on its clinical profile to date. By applying Transgene's depth of knowledge and experience in the development of immunotherapies, as well as its established relationships with European regulatory authorities, we believe that we can achieve JX-594 marketability more quickly."

Philippe Archinard, chairman and CEO of Transgene, stated: "With a time to market in Europe forecast for 2015 and a European market potential of over $1bn, JX-594 has the capacity to provide us with a very substantial return on our investment, should the product meet all of its milestones."

8th September 2010

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