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Idec Inks Deal to Use ExonHit s HTP Sequencing Technique for Identifying Antigen Targets

NEW YORK, Jan. 7—Idec Pharmaceuticals and ExonHit Therapeutics said Monday that they would collaborate to develop new antigen targets for antibody therapy.


In the partnership, Idec will use ExonHit's Datas technique, a method for identifying disease-relevant mRNA sequence changes by analyzing alternative RNA splicing. The ExonHit technique allows these changes to be identified without high-throughput sequencing.


The partnership will identify targets for prostate cancer.


In the deal, Idec gets worldwide exclusive rights to antibody-based therapeutic applications of new targets. ExonHit, in return, will receive an upfront payment, milestones, and royalty payments on products that may emerge from the collaboration.


Further financial details were not revealed.


ExonHit, which was founded in 1997, is based in Paris with a subsidiary in Gaithersburg, Md. The company raised €30 million ($26.8 million) in its third round of private financing in December. It is currently developing treatments for Lou Gehrig's disease and other central nervous system diseases.


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