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Lexicon Genetics and Abgenix to Jointly Validate Drug Targets

NEW YORK, Jan 3 – Lexicon Genetics has agreed to use its knockout mouse technology to validate drug targets for Abgenix’ human antibody therapeutics, the companies announced Wednesday.

" We are pleased that Abgenix, a leader in the field of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies, recognizes the importance of Lexicon's knockout validated drug targets for its internal drug discovery efforts," Arthur Sands, Lexicon’s CEO, said in a statement. " This collaboration offers the potential to discover and, ultimately, to develop novel antibody therapies directed at targets that have undergone a superior level of validation."

Under the agreement, Abgenix will also be able to access Lexicon’s Omnibank library of knockout mouse clones. Abgenix will pay Lexicon a research project fee for each knockout mouse Lexicon develops, and will pay a license fee for each gene it chooses from Omnibank.

Lexicon could also receive royalty and milestone payments on antibody products that Abgenix develops using Omnibank or mouse models exclusively licensed by Lexicon. If the collaboration results in non-antibody therapeutics, Lexicon will have the exclusive right to those products.

The parties did not disclose the financial terms of the agreement.

This collaboration follows a joint drug discovery venture between Lexicon and Abgenix launched in July. In that collaboration, both companies have used Abgenix’s human antibodies for individual drug discovery.  

Abgenix also announced Wednesday that it had received a U.S. patent for its XenoMouse technology, which it uses to generate human monoclonal antibodies in mice.

The Abgenix partnership is one among a panoply of agreements which Lexicon has formed with pharmaceutical and biotech companies. Lexicon has sublicensed its proprietary knockout mouse technology to Bristol-Myers Squibb, Pfizer, Roche Bioscience, Schering-Plough Research Institute, Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Genentech, Amgen, Ligand Pharmaceuticals, American Home Products, DuPont Pharmaceuticals, and Biogen. The companies are only allowed to use the technology to develop knockout mice for their own internal research purposes.   

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