Millennium and BZL Biologics Announce Agreement To Develop Antibody Therapies Against Key Target In Prostate Cancer

- Worldwide Exclusive License for Clinical and Preclinical

Products Targeting PSMA -



Apr 11, 2001, 01:00 ET from Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

    CAMBRIDGE, Mass., and NEW YORK, April 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Millennium
 Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:   MLNM) and BZL Biologics, L.L.C., a privately-
 held company, today announced they have entered into an agreement to develop
 and commercialize antibody-based therapeutics targeting Prostate Specific
 Membrane Antigen (PSMA).  The development plan includes programs for both
 immunotoxin and radiolabeled products.  On the basis of available data, PSMA
 is the best-established, prostate-associated, cell surface molecule.  It is
 expressed by virtually every prostate tumor (both primary and metastatic) and
 the level of expression increases with tumor progression.  The primary
 indication expected for products targeting PSMA is prostate cancer, although
 there is strong evidence to suggest that PSMA may also be a relevant
 therapeutic target in other solid tumors.  Access to BZL's anti-PSMA products
 expands Millennium's clinical and preclinical portfolio, extends its oncology
 franchise, and reinforces its commitment to the development of therapeutic
 antibodies in the field of oncology.
     (Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/19991220/MLNMLOGO )
     The terms of the agreement call for Millennium and BZL to jointly develop
 the immunotoxin and radiolabeled products for the prostate cancer indication
 until a predetermined clinical decision point. Thereafter, Millennium will
 have full responsibility for development, manufacturing and commercialization
 of all antibody-based therapies for all indications, as well as all diagnostic
 products.  Millennium will be responsible for all development costs of the
 products.  In addition, BZL will be entitled to receive milestone payments and
 royalties based on net sales of any marketed products.  Additional financial
 terms were not disclosed.
     "Anti-PSMA is another component of Millennium's strategy to build a robust
 pipeline of products in our oncology franchise through the identification of
 exciting targets, and the acceleration of candidates into preclinical and
 clinical trials," said John Maraganore, Ph.D., senior vice president,
 strategic product development at Millennium. "Our recently announced
 relationship with ImmunoGen provides us with access to their Tumor-Activated
 Prodrug (TAP) technology, including exclusive access to this technology for
 further development of anti-PSMA therapies, which represents a major asset
 that we bring to the development program.  We look forward to working with BZL
 to build on their excellent work and to quickly bring new therapeutic options
 to the market for those diagnosed with cancer."
     "The team at BZL is very excited to work with Millennium, a dynamic and
 visionary biopharmaceutical company, that is extremely aggressive in bringing
 products through development.  Our technology was highly sought after by
 numerous pharmaceutical and biotech companies, but in the final analysis
 Millennium was the obvious and clear choice," said Neil Bander, M.D., Bernard
 and Josephine Chaus Professor of Urological Oncology and Professor of Urology
 at the Joan and Sanford I. Weill Medical College of Cornell University.  Dr.
 Bander heads the team that discovered the anti-PSMA antibodies and leads the
 clinical development effort at New York Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Cornell
 Medical Center.  He serves as a consultant to BZL.
     "We view this alliance as a welcome opportunity to develop and market a
 product for the treatment of prostate cancer, a disease which currently has
 tremendous unmet medical need.  In addition, we look forward to further
 examining the potential for anti-PSMA therapeutics to play an efficacious role
 in the treatment of other cancers.  Millennium's scientific know-how will be
 key to exploring these broad new applications," added Dr. Bander
     "Millennium has a competitive advantage in the industry as the preferred
 partner of choice.  Through our leading gene-to-patient research and
 development platform, we are well-positioned to identify and evaluate the most
 attractive in-license opportunities and then create the alliances that will
 continue to build our pipeline and ultimately increase shareholder value,"
 said Mark Levin, chief executive officer of Millennium.  "In addition to being
 a tremendous step forward in the area of cancer treatment, this agreement with
 BZL achieves one of Millennium's in-licensing goals for the year 2001, and
 builds on a strong foundation of products in our oncology franchise in which
 we maintain significant commercialization rights. A franchise that is well
 supported by recent senior hires in the areas of manufacturing, marketing and
 sales."
 
     BZL's Antibody Asset
     BZL's humanized J591 antibody, directed towards the extracellular domain
 of PSMA, is the most advanced anti-PSMA antibody in development.  In animal
 models of prostate cancer, J591 has demonstrated profound efficacy.  The
 antibody has been shown to be well-tolerated in Phase I clinical studies and
 has been used successfully as an imaging and therapeutic targeting agent for
 primary and metastatic tumors in patients with prostate and other cancers.  A
 radiolabeled version of J591 is currently in Phase I studies in patients with
 advanced prostate and non-prostate cancers.
 
     Millennium's Therapeutic Antibody Pipeline
     Millennium is a leader in the discovery and development of therapeutic
 antibodies.  The Company is awaiting final review from the U.S. Food and Drug
 Administration of the CAMPATH(R) (alemtuzumab) investigational humanized
 monoclonal antibody for treatment of patients with chronic lymphocytic
 leukemia who have been treated with alkylating agents and have failed
 fludarabine therapy.  Millennium's pipeline also includes several other
 antibodies in clinical development.  In collaboration with Genentech, Inc.,
 Millennium is conducting Phase II clinical trials with LDP-02 for Crohn's
 disease and ulcerative colitis.  LDP-01 is in Phase I/II clinical trials for
 stroke.
      Millennium has one of the most comprehensive toolkits available for
 generating novel antibodies, with access to a variety of innovative and
 advanced technologies.  The Company has rights to obtain commercial licenses
 for multiple humanized antibodies under PDL's antibody humanization patents
 and it has relationships with ImmunoGen for TAP technology, Abgenix for
 XenoMouse(TM) technology and Medarex, for HuMab technology.  These
 technologies are a powerful complement to Millennium's strong capabilities in
 finding novel targets, based on broad expertise in gene discovery, functional
 genomics, and disease biology.  As a result, Millennium is uniquely positioned
 to lead the industry in the discovery and development of antibody
 therapeutics.
 
     Monoclonal Antibodies
     Antibodies are naturally occurring proteins produced by the immune system
 in response to substances that appear to be foreign to the body, known as
 antigens.  Each of the millions of antibodies produced in the body has the
 ability to single out the presence of a specific antigen, or target, and then
 trigger its destruction.  If the antigen is produced only by diseased cells,
 these cells can be killed without harming healthy neighboring cells. A
 monoclonal antibody is one derived from a single cell.  Monoclonal antibodies
 can be produced in quantity, and used to treat a variety of diseases ranging
 from cancer to cardiovascular disease.  Because of their high specificity and
 biological nature, monoclonal antibodies may significantly reduce the side
 effects experienced with traditional therapies. Monoclonal antibodies are
 currently the fastest growing therapeutic drug class.
 
     Prostate Cancer
     According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 180,400 new cases
 of prostate cancer will be diagnosed in the United States this year.  Of these
 new cases, 31,900 will result in death. The five-year survival rate of men
 with prostate cancer is 89% with this percentage jumping to 100% if the cancer
 is found before it metastasizes (spreads to another area of the body). Today
 there is a tremendous unmet medical need for treating the disease,
 particularly for end-stage or hormone-refractory prostate cancer patients for
 whom no therapies are currently available.  The exact cause of prostate cancer
 is not yet known, however, scientists have identified certain risk factors,
 including family history of the disease, age, diet and race. The majority
 (greater than 80%) of prostate cancer patients are more than 65 years old.
 Early detection is important and it is recommended that men over the age of 50
 have a prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test every year.  Coupled with a
 digital rectal exam (DRE), the PSA is a very useful test for determining which
 men need further evaluation.
     BZL is a privately held drug development company dedicated to the
 development and commercialization of the J591 and related antibodies
 discovered by Dr. Neil Bander's research group and exclusively licensed from
 Cornell Research Foundation, Inc.
     Millennium, a leading biopharmaceutical company, applies its comprehensive
 and integrated science and technology platform for the discovery and
 development of breakthrough therapeutic and predictive medicine products, with
 a goal of delivering personalized medicine. Through the industrialization of
 this gene-to-patient platform, Millennium is also striving to accelerate the
 process of drug discovery and development. Headquartered in Cambridge, Mass.,
 Millennium currently employs more than 1,300 people.
 
     For Millennium:  This press release contains "forward-looking statements,"
 including statements about our growth and future operating results, discovery
 and development of products, potential acquisitions, strategic alliances and
 intellectual property.  Various risks may cause Millennium's actual results to
 differ materially, including: adverse results in our drug discovery and
 clinical development processes; failure to obtain patent protection for our
 discoveries; commercial limitations imposed by patents owned or controlled by
 third parties; our dependence upon strategic alliance partners to develop and
 commercialize products and services based on our work; difficulties or delays
 in obtaining regulatory approvals to market products and services resulting
 from our development efforts; and the requirement for substantial funding to
 conduct research and development and to expand commercialization activities.
 For a further list and description of the risks and uncertainties we face, see
 the reports we have filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.  We
 disclaim any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking
 statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or
 otherwise.
     Editor's Note: This release is available on Millennium's website at
 www.millennium.com.
 
 

SOURCE Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
    CAMBRIDGE, Mass., and NEW YORK, April 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Millennium
 Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:   MLNM) and BZL Biologics, L.L.C., a privately-
 held company, today announced they have entered into an agreement to develop
 and commercialize antibody-based therapeutics targeting Prostate Specific
 Membrane Antigen (PSMA).  The development plan includes programs for both
 immunotoxin and radiolabeled products.  On the basis of available data, PSMA
 is the best-established, prostate-associated, cell surface molecule.  It is
 expressed by virtually every prostate tumor (both primary and metastatic) and
 the level of expression increases with tumor progression.  The primary
 indication expected for products targeting PSMA is prostate cancer, although
 there is strong evidence to suggest that PSMA may also be a relevant
 therapeutic target in other solid tumors.  Access to BZL's anti-PSMA products
 expands Millennium's clinical and preclinical portfolio, extends its oncology
 franchise, and reinforces its commitment to the development of therapeutic
 antibodies in the field of oncology.
     (Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/19991220/MLNMLOGO )
     The terms of the agreement call for Millennium and BZL to jointly develop
 the immunotoxin and radiolabeled products for the prostate cancer indication
 until a predetermined clinical decision point. Thereafter, Millennium will
 have full responsibility for development, manufacturing and commercialization
 of all antibody-based therapies for all indications, as well as all diagnostic
 products.  Millennium will be responsible for all development costs of the
 products.  In addition, BZL will be entitled to receive milestone payments and
 royalties based on net sales of any marketed products.  Additional financial
 terms were not disclosed.
     "Anti-PSMA is another component of Millennium's strategy to build a robust
 pipeline of products in our oncology franchise through the identification of
 exciting targets, and the acceleration of candidates into preclinical and
 clinical trials," said John Maraganore, Ph.D., senior vice president,
 strategic product development at Millennium. "Our recently announced
 relationship with ImmunoGen provides us with access to their Tumor-Activated
 Prodrug (TAP) technology, including exclusive access to this technology for
 further development of anti-PSMA therapies, which represents a major asset
 that we bring to the development program.  We look forward to working with BZL
 to build on their excellent work and to quickly bring new therapeutic options
 to the market for those diagnosed with cancer."
     "The team at BZL is very excited to work with Millennium, a dynamic and
 visionary biopharmaceutical company, that is extremely aggressive in bringing
 products through development.  Our technology was highly sought after by
 numerous pharmaceutical and biotech companies, but in the final analysis
 Millennium was the obvious and clear choice," said Neil Bander, M.D., Bernard
 and Josephine Chaus Professor of Urological Oncology and Professor of Urology
 at the Joan and Sanford I. Weill Medical College of Cornell University.  Dr.
 Bander heads the team that discovered the anti-PSMA antibodies and leads the
 clinical development effort at New York Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Cornell
 Medical Center.  He serves as a consultant to BZL.
     "We view this alliance as a welcome opportunity to develop and market a
 product for the treatment of prostate cancer, a disease which currently has
 tremendous unmet medical need.  In addition, we look forward to further
 examining the potential for anti-PSMA therapeutics to play an efficacious role
 in the treatment of other cancers.  Millennium's scientific know-how will be
 key to exploring these broad new applications," added Dr. Bander
     "Millennium has a competitive advantage in the industry as the preferred
 partner of choice.  Through our leading gene-to-patient research and
 development platform, we are well-positioned to identify and evaluate the most
 attractive in-license opportunities and then create the alliances that will
 continue to build our pipeline and ultimately increase shareholder value,"
 said Mark Levin, chief executive officer of Millennium.  "In addition to being
 a tremendous step forward in the area of cancer treatment, this agreement with
 BZL achieves one of Millennium's in-licensing goals for the year 2001, and
 builds on a strong foundation of products in our oncology franchise in which
 we maintain significant commercialization rights. A franchise that is well
 supported by recent senior hires in the areas of manufacturing, marketing and
 sales."
 
     BZL's Antibody Asset
     BZL's humanized J591 antibody, directed towards the extracellular domain
 of PSMA, is the most advanced anti-PSMA antibody in development.  In animal
 models of prostate cancer, J591 has demonstrated profound efficacy.  The
 antibody has been shown to be well-tolerated in Phase I clinical studies and
 has been used successfully as an imaging and therapeutic targeting agent for
 primary and metastatic tumors in patients with prostate and other cancers.  A
 radiolabeled version of J591 is currently in Phase I studies in patients with
 advanced prostate and non-prostate cancers.
 
     Millennium's Therapeutic Antibody Pipeline
     Millennium is a leader in the discovery and development of therapeutic
 antibodies.  The Company is awaiting final review from the U.S. Food and Drug
 Administration of the CAMPATH(R) (alemtuzumab) investigational humanized
 monoclonal antibody for treatment of patients with chronic lymphocytic
 leukemia who have been treated with alkylating agents and have failed
 fludarabine therapy.  Millennium's pipeline also includes several other
 antibodies in clinical development.  In collaboration with Genentech, Inc.,
 Millennium is conducting Phase II clinical trials with LDP-02 for Crohn's
 disease and ulcerative colitis.  LDP-01 is in Phase I/II clinical trials for
 stroke.
      Millennium has one of the most comprehensive toolkits available for
 generating novel antibodies, with access to a variety of innovative and
 advanced technologies.  The Company has rights to obtain commercial licenses
 for multiple humanized antibodies under PDL's antibody humanization patents
 and it has relationships with ImmunoGen for TAP technology, Abgenix for
 XenoMouse(TM) technology and Medarex, for HuMab technology.  These
 technologies are a powerful complement to Millennium's strong capabilities in
 finding novel targets, based on broad expertise in gene discovery, functional
 genomics, and disease biology.  As a result, Millennium is uniquely positioned
 to lead the industry in the discovery and development of antibody
 therapeutics.
 
     Monoclonal Antibodies
     Antibodies are naturally occurring proteins produced by the immune system
 in response to substances that appear to be foreign to the body, known as
 antigens.  Each of the millions of antibodies produced in the body has the
 ability to single out the presence of a specific antigen, or target, and then
 trigger its destruction.  If the antigen is produced only by diseased cells,
 these cells can be killed without harming healthy neighboring cells. A
 monoclonal antibody is one derived from a single cell.  Monoclonal antibodies
 can be produced in quantity, and used to treat a variety of diseases ranging
 from cancer to cardiovascular disease.  Because of their high specificity and
 biological nature, monoclonal antibodies may significantly reduce the side
 effects experienced with traditional therapies. Monoclonal antibodies are
 currently the fastest growing therapeutic drug class.
 
     Prostate Cancer
     According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 180,400 new cases
 of prostate cancer will be diagnosed in the United States this year.  Of these
 new cases, 31,900 will result in death. The five-year survival rate of men
 with prostate cancer is 89% with this percentage jumping to 100% if the cancer
 is found before it metastasizes (spreads to another area of the body). Today
 there is a tremendous unmet medical need for treating the disease,
 particularly for end-stage or hormone-refractory prostate cancer patients for
 whom no therapies are currently available.  The exact cause of prostate cancer
 is not yet known, however, scientists have identified certain risk factors,
 including family history of the disease, age, diet and race. The majority
 (greater than 80%) of prostate cancer patients are more than 65 years old.
 Early detection is important and it is recommended that men over the age of 50
 have a prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test every year.  Coupled with a
 digital rectal exam (DRE), the PSA is a very useful test for determining which
 men need further evaluation.
     BZL is a privately held drug development company dedicated to the
 development and commercialization of the J591 and related antibodies
 discovered by Dr. Neil Bander's research group and exclusively licensed from
 Cornell Research Foundation, Inc.
     Millennium, a leading biopharmaceutical company, applies its comprehensive
 and integrated science and technology platform for the discovery and
 development of breakthrough therapeutic and predictive medicine products, with
 a goal of delivering personalized medicine. Through the industrialization of
 this gene-to-patient platform, Millennium is also striving to accelerate the
 process of drug discovery and development. Headquartered in Cambridge, Mass.,
 Millennium currently employs more than 1,300 people.
 
     For Millennium:  This press release contains "forward-looking statements,"
 including statements about our growth and future operating results, discovery
 and development of products, potential acquisitions, strategic alliances and
 intellectual property.  Various risks may cause Millennium's actual results to
 differ materially, including: adverse results in our drug discovery and
 clinical development processes; failure to obtain patent protection for our
 discoveries; commercial limitations imposed by patents owned or controlled by
 third parties; our dependence upon strategic alliance partners to develop and
 commercialize products and services based on our work; difficulties or delays
 in obtaining regulatory approvals to market products and services resulting
 from our development efforts; and the requirement for substantial funding to
 conduct research and development and to expand commercialization activities.
 For a further list and description of the risks and uncertainties we face, see
 the reports we have filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.  We
 disclaim any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking
 statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or
 otherwise.
     Editor's Note: This release is available on Millennium's website at
 www.millennium.com.
 
 SOURCE  Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc.