KaloBios Pharmaceuticals In-Licenses Antibody from UCSF to Prevent and Treat Pseudomonas Infections

Jun 02, 2004, 01:00 ET from KaloBios Pharmaceuticals

    PALO ALTO, Calif., June 2 /PRNewswire/ -- KaloBios Pharmaceuticals, a
 therapeutic antibody company, announced today that it has exclusively
 in-licensed a preclinical therapeutic antibody lead and its commensurate
 intellectual property for the clinically relevant pathogen Pseudomonas
 aeruginosa. The antibody was developed by a team of researchers at the Medical
 College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee and the University of California, San
     Multi-drug resistant Pseudomonas is one of the most serious and difficult
 hospital-acquired infections to treat and affects patients with
 ventilator-associated pneumonia, cystic fibrosis, low white cell counts, burns
 and diabetic ulcers. The monoclonal antibody has a unique target mechanism,
 neutralizing the action of the PcrV protein of the type III secretion system
 thereby inhibiting a key disease-causing process of Pseudomonas. Importantly,
 because the target mechanism is different from that of other antibiotics,
 cross-resistance is not observed. Independent research from two groups
 published in the Journal of Infectious Disease in 2001 and Critical Care
 Medicine in 2002 directly link the expression of the type III secretion system
 to poor clinical outcome in Pseudomonas lung infections. There are
 approximately 665,000 patients placed on ventilators in the United States each
 year and approximately 200,000 develop pneumonia. The additional patient costs
 associated with pneumonia in the intensive care unit is $40,000/patient.
     KaloBios is using its proprietary antibody technology to engineer a high
 affinity human antibody against the PcrV protein that is more potent than the
 original mouse antibody. The company expects to complete the antibody
 engineering work by mid-2004 and to enter a lead compound into IND Track
 development at that time. "We are happy that UCSF and the Medical college have
 both entrusted KaloBios with the development of this potentially valuable
 drug.  It fits perfectly into the profile of KaloBios' pipeline, where our
 technology can rapidly generate human antibodies from rodent antibodies that
 have excellent preclinical validation," said Dr. Geoffrey Yarranton, CEO of
 KaloBios. The antibody will be used as both a prophylactic and as a treatment
 for Pseudomonas infections in ventilator-associated pneumonia and cystic
 fibrosis patients. "We are excited with KaloBios' capability to engineer and
 move this drug to the clinic as quickly as possible. People need new
 approaches to treat infections by this formidable and versatile pathogen,"
 said one of the discoverers of the antibody, Jeanine Wiener-Kronish MD,
 Professor of Anesthesiology at UCSF.
     The company believes that the application of its technology platform that
 enables the rapid generation of high potency human antibodies and its strategy
 for producing products cost-effectively will make this drug a financial
     About KaloBios
     KaloBios uses its unique and proprietary technologies for the development
 of its pipeline of antibody therapeutics. Such uses include de novo discovery
 of high-affinity human antibodies, as well as humanization and optimization of
 antibodies and other therapeutic proteins with respect to many
 pharmacologically important properties. To fully leverage the value of its
 technology platform, KaloBios is becoming vertically integrated, with the
 capability to discover, engineer and develop clinically relevant antibodies
 and protein therapeutics. For more information, visit www.kalobios.com.

SOURCE KaloBios Pharmaceuticals