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This article by Barbara Fox was prepared for the October 15, 2003 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

Medarex Mice

Good news from the laboratory: Medarex mice are helping

to solve the SARS problem, and this announcement pushed stock up 45

cents to $7 on Friday, October 10. Medarex is partnering with

scientists from the University of Massachusetts Medical School to use

antibodies from the genetically engineered mice that have been

immunized with a protein used by the SARS virus. Initial tests show

that the antibodies neutralize the virus in non-human tissue cultures.

"Researchers believe this advance may lead to treatments to


infection with SARS after individuals have been exposed to the virus,

and potentially to therapeutic products to treat those already


says a press release. "This important progress comes just six

months after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control provided the SARS

virus to UMMS to launch this research."

The SARS global outbreak of 2003 in which 774 people died was


contained, but epidemiologists fear that the disease could re-emerge

in an annual cycle similar to the common flu. "We’ve got mice

producing the right antibody," says Donna Ambrosino, director of the

Massachusetts laboratory that is conducting the research, "so

we hope it’s only a matter of time before we isolate the one cell

that will become the basis for a monoclonal antibody to prevent SARS

in individuals exposed to the illness." If all goes well, a product

could be ready for clinical tests in two years, she says.

Medarex is a biopharmaceutical firm that develops monoclonal


therapeutics for cancer, inflammation, autoimmune, and infectious

diseases using the UltiMAb Human Antibody Development System. It has

a multi-product Phase III manufacturing laboratory in Annandale.


scientists Israel Lowy, Robert Graziano, and Nils Lonberg are working

on the project with Massachusetts-based scientists.

Earlier this month Medarex announced a collaboration with Trillium

Therapeutics Inc., a privately-held Canadian biotechnology company.

Medarex will employ its UltiMab Human Antibody Development System

to generate antibodies to disease targets identified by Trillium


Medarex Inc. (MEDX), 707 State Road, Princeton

08540. Donald L. Drakeman, president and CEO. 609-430-2880; fax,


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