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Immunex Will Use ArQule Technology to Target Immune System

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MEDFORD, Mass.--ArQule, a drug discovery chemistry company here, will collaborate with Seattle biopharmaceutical Immunex to discover and develop products for the treatment of inflammatory disorders. Immunex will gain access to ArQule's mapping array program, comprised of libraries of novel, diverse, small organic, pure compounds used for screening against biological targets in new product discovery. Immunex will use the program to identify small molecule therapeutics based on a chemokine gene discovered by the Seattle company.

ArQule will use proprietary assays from Immunex that utilize a novel inhibitor of multiple chemokines to identify compounds with biological activity from ArQule's Mapping Array program. The data it provides are expected to speed the identification of specific active drug leads. Once those are identified, Immunex will elect whether to continue preclinical development with ArQule, or to license the active leads in exchange for milestone and royalty payments to ArQule for successful clinical and commercial development. Financial terms were not disclosed.

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