Crucell's PER.C6 Cell-Line Used in Merck's HIV-1 Vaccines Research Program

Apr 03, 2001, 01:00 ET from Crucell N.V.

    LEIDEN, The Netherlands, April 3 /PRNewswire/ --
 Crucell N.V. (Nasdaq: CRXL, EAX Amsterdam: CRXL), a leading biotechnology
 company focused on the discovery of unique drug targets on disease associated
 cells and on the development of huMADE(TM) biopharmaceuticals, today announced
 that Merck & Co., Inc (NYSE:   MRK) is applying Crucell's PER.C6 technology in
 its HIV-1 vaccine program.
     Merck is conducting early (Phase I) clinical trials using novel vaccine
 technology that their scientists hope will lead to the development of a
 vaccine that can effectively prevent the development of AIDS from HIV
 infection, as well as treat HIV infection in infected patients taking
 anti-retroviral therapy.  Merck utilizes an extensively modified adenovirus
 (adenovirus is a cause of the common cold), that is grown on Crucell's PER.C6
 cell line.  Crucell and Merck signed an agreement in October 2000, granting
 Merck an exclusive commercial license to Crucell's PER.C6 platform to develop
 vaccines for the prevention and treatment of certain diseases.  Yesterday is
 the first public announcement specifying Merck's application of PER.C6 in HIV
 vaccine development.  The agreement provides for up-front and ongoing fees and
 royalty and milestone payments paid by Merck to Crucell, and further provides
 Merck the option of extending the exclusivity to cover three additional
 diseases in the future.
     During the first public presentation of animal and cellular immune
 response data delivered yesterday at the Keystone Symposium in Keystone,
 Colorado, Dr. Emilio Emini, who heads Merck's HIV-vaccine research, described
 the experiments that led Merck to begin human testing of the experimental AIDS
 vaccine in February.  In his presentation, Dr. Emini showed that the
 adenovirus based vaccine provoked a killer-cell response sufficiently strong
 in monkeys exposed to the AIDS-like virus, that they remained healthy, even
 though they still harbor small amounts of the virus.
     Dr. Dinko Valerio, President and Chief Executive Officer, says: "We are
 happy to be able to announce that Merck has selected our technology to help
 develop its experimental HIV-vaccine.  This is an important agreement for
 Crucell as it is our first exclusive license with one of the leading vaccine
 companies."
     In 2000, more than 5 million people were infected with HIV virus, bringing
 the total number of people living with HIV/AIDS at the end of 2000 to
 approximately 36 million, according to AIDS Epidemic Update, UNAIDS.
 
     About Crucell
     Crucell is a leading biotechnology company focused on the discovery of
 unique drug targets on diseased cells and on the development of huMADE(TM)
 biopharmaceuticals.  Crucell's two broadly applicable human technology
 platforms form the basis for this.  The first is a human cell line expression
 platform, PER.C6(TM), on which a wide range of biopharmaceuticals can be
 developed and manufactured, such as vaccines, antibodies, therapeutic proteins
 and gene therapy products.  The second technology is called MAbstract(TM), a
 set of tools based on phage antibody-display libraries and proprietary
 subtraction and selection technology, to discover novel drug targets and
 develop human monoclonal antibodies as therapeutics for a variety of diseases.
     Crucell makes its technologies available under exclusive or non-exclusive
 license agreements, and has currently signed 15 agreements with major
 pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies for its PER.C6(TM) technology.
 Crucell focuses on the development of therapeutics for treatment of cancer,
 inflammatory diseases and for the prevention and treatment of influenza and
 other infectious diseases.
     Crucell currently employs approximately 130 people in its facilities in
 Leiden, Utrecht and Leuven (Belgium).
 
     This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve
 inherent risks and uncertainties.  We have identified certain important
 factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from those
 contained in such forward-looking statements.  See our Registration Statement,
 as filed on Form F-1 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on
 October 26, 2000, (the "Registration Statement") and the section of the
 Registration Statement entitled "Risk Factors."
 
     For further information please contact:
 
     Crucell N.V.
     Annemarie Haverhals
     Vice President, Corporate Affairs
     Tel. +31-(0)71-524 8722
     Fax. +31-(0)71-524 8702
     a.haverhals@crucell.com
     http://www.crucell.com
 
     Noonan Russo U.S.
     Lisa Baumgartner
     Tel. +1-212-696 4455 ext.245
     Fax. +1-212-696-9180
     l.baumgartner@noonanrusso.com
 
     Noonan Russo Ltd
     Veronica Sellar
     Tel. +44-(0)20-7726 4452
     Fax. +44-(0)20-7726 4453
     v.sellar@noonanrusso.co.uk
 
     Hill & Knowlton Nederland B.V.
     Jeroen van Seeters
     Tel. +31-(0)20- 404 4707
     Fax.+31-(0)20 - 644 9736
     Jvseeters@hillandknowlton.com
 
 

SOURCE Crucell N.V.
    LEIDEN, The Netherlands, April 3 /PRNewswire/ --
 Crucell N.V. (Nasdaq: CRXL, EAX Amsterdam: CRXL), a leading biotechnology
 company focused on the discovery of unique drug targets on disease associated
 cells and on the development of huMADE(TM) biopharmaceuticals, today announced
 that Merck & Co., Inc (NYSE:   MRK) is applying Crucell's PER.C6 technology in
 its HIV-1 vaccine program.
     Merck is conducting early (Phase I) clinical trials using novel vaccine
 technology that their scientists hope will lead to the development of a
 vaccine that can effectively prevent the development of AIDS from HIV
 infection, as well as treat HIV infection in infected patients taking
 anti-retroviral therapy.  Merck utilizes an extensively modified adenovirus
 (adenovirus is a cause of the common cold), that is grown on Crucell's PER.C6
 cell line.  Crucell and Merck signed an agreement in October 2000, granting
 Merck an exclusive commercial license to Crucell's PER.C6 platform to develop
 vaccines for the prevention and treatment of certain diseases.  Yesterday is
 the first public announcement specifying Merck's application of PER.C6 in HIV
 vaccine development.  The agreement provides for up-front and ongoing fees and
 royalty and milestone payments paid by Merck to Crucell, and further provides
 Merck the option of extending the exclusivity to cover three additional
 diseases in the future.
     During the first public presentation of animal and cellular immune
 response data delivered yesterday at the Keystone Symposium in Keystone,
 Colorado, Dr. Emilio Emini, who heads Merck's HIV-vaccine research, described
 the experiments that led Merck to begin human testing of the experimental AIDS
 vaccine in February.  In his presentation, Dr. Emini showed that the
 adenovirus based vaccine provoked a killer-cell response sufficiently strong
 in monkeys exposed to the AIDS-like virus, that they remained healthy, even
 though they still harbor small amounts of the virus.
     Dr. Dinko Valerio, President and Chief Executive Officer, says: "We are
 happy to be able to announce that Merck has selected our technology to help
 develop its experimental HIV-vaccine.  This is an important agreement for
 Crucell as it is our first exclusive license with one of the leading vaccine
 companies."
     In 2000, more than 5 million people were infected with HIV virus, bringing
 the total number of people living with HIV/AIDS at the end of 2000 to
 approximately 36 million, according to AIDS Epidemic Update, UNAIDS.
 
     About Crucell
     Crucell is a leading biotechnology company focused on the discovery of
 unique drug targets on diseased cells and on the development of huMADE(TM)
 biopharmaceuticals.  Crucell's two broadly applicable human technology
 platforms form the basis for this.  The first is a human cell line expression
 platform, PER.C6(TM), on which a wide range of biopharmaceuticals can be
 developed and manufactured, such as vaccines, antibodies, therapeutic proteins
 and gene therapy products.  The second technology is called MAbstract(TM), a
 set of tools based on phage antibody-display libraries and proprietary
 subtraction and selection technology, to discover novel drug targets and
 develop human monoclonal antibodies as therapeutics for a variety of diseases.
     Crucell makes its technologies available under exclusive or non-exclusive
 license agreements, and has currently signed 15 agreements with major
 pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies for its PER.C6(TM) technology.
 Crucell focuses on the development of therapeutics for treatment of cancer,
 inflammatory diseases and for the prevention and treatment of influenza and
 other infectious diseases.
     Crucell currently employs approximately 130 people in its facilities in
 Leiden, Utrecht and Leuven (Belgium).
 
     This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve
 inherent risks and uncertainties.  We have identified certain important
 factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from those
 contained in such forward-looking statements.  See our Registration Statement,
 as filed on Form F-1 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on
 October 26, 2000, (the "Registration Statement") and the section of the
 Registration Statement entitled "Risk Factors."
 
     For further information please contact:
 
     Crucell N.V.
     Annemarie Haverhals
     Vice President, Corporate Affairs
     Tel. +31-(0)71-524 8722
     Fax. +31-(0)71-524 8702
     a.haverhals@crucell.com
     http://www.crucell.com
 
     Noonan Russo U.S.
     Lisa Baumgartner
     Tel. +1-212-696 4455 ext.245
     Fax. +1-212-696-9180
     l.baumgartner@noonanrusso.com
 
     Noonan Russo Ltd
     Veronica Sellar
     Tel. +44-(0)20-7726 4452
     Fax. +44-(0)20-7726 4453
     v.sellar@noonanrusso.co.uk
 
     Hill & Knowlton Nederland B.V.
     Jeroen van Seeters
     Tel. +31-(0)20- 404 4707
     Fax.+31-(0)20 - 644 9736
     Jvseeters@hillandknowlton.com
 
 SOURCE  Crucell N.V.

RELATED LINKS

http://www.merck.com