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Coulter, Cobra Team Up to Develop Gene Expression Technology

NEW YORK, Oct 3 - Coulter Pharmaceutical (Nasdaq: CLTR) said Tuesday it had entered into a collaboration with Cobra Therapeutics, the gene therapy subsidiary of ML Laboratories, to jointly develop and commercialize Cobra's gene expression technology.

Under the terms of the deal, Coulter of South San Francisco, Calif., and Cobra of Keele, UK, will jointly develop and commercialize Cobra’s Ubiquitous Chromatin Opening Elements technology. In return, Coulter will pay Cobra an upfront payment of one million pounds ($ 1.4582 million ) and event-based milestone and sub-license fees.

The UCOE technology enables researchers to transfect cells to produce high levels of expressed gene products, the company said.

The applications of the technology include gene therapy, functional genomics, and the manufacture of therapeutic proteins including antibodies.

" We are pleased to enter into this broad collaboration with Cobra whose UCOE technology is a perfect complement to our antibody therapeutics program," Michael Bigham, president and chief executive officer of Coulter, said in a statement.

The agreement allows for exclusive, royalty-free commercialization of the first two products derived within each company's own product line. Any products commercialized after the first two will be subject to a royalty fee. The agreement also allows for sublicensing of the technology.

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