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    Prima announces another major addition to its IP Portfolio
    06 August 2003
    Prima Biomed Limited (ASX: PRR) today announced it’s subsidiary Arthron Ltd has succeeded in
    securing an Australian Patent protecting the three dimensional (3D) structure of its drug target, the Fc
    receptor (FcR), and use of this structure to design drugs targeted at diseases, such as rheumatoid
    arthritis, that involve the receptor. Pharmaceuticals products, including drugs, and treatment of
    diseases using such drugs are also covered. The Patent is expected to issue in the near future now
    that all formalities have been completed.
    The Patent has been licensed from the Austin Research Institute (ARI), and is from the third in a series
    of six different families of patents providing protection relating to the FcR. This extensive portfolio gives
    Arthron a franchise of intellectual property around this important drug target.
    It is believed the FcR, particularly the Fc gamma receptor (FcãRIIa) plays an important role in
    autoimmune and inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and ITP (a platelet disorder).
    In diseases such as RA, antibody complexes that are produced by patients bind to the FcãR found on
    white blood cells. The binding triggers a chain of biological reactions that culminate in these diseases.
    The 3D structure of the FcãR enables drugs to be designed more effectively, as it provides a clear
    image of this receptor as it exists in the body and allows chemists to design drugs to fit the shape,
    structure and chemistry provided by the image. Drugs designed using the 3D structure of the FcãR
    have already been made, and are the subject of a granted US Patent, with applications progressing in
    other countries including Australia. Ongoing pre-clinical testing of these drugs, in animal models of
    disease, indicates the use of the 3D structure for drug design to be of extreme value.
    The granting of this patent also provides an advantage against competitors wishing to utilise the 3D
    structure for designing drugs. As this patent will be in force until 2019 it provides a very powerful barrier
    to entry to competitors. This is therefore a very valuable asset which Arthron will be able utilise in
    negotiations to license the technology.
    The research already undertaken in regard to new drugs has also allowed Arthron to file two new patent
    applications, one covering a “second generation” of drugs, and the other the use of a mouse carrying
    the human FcãR that makes it a suitable model for testing of the drugs.
    In addition, the company has licensed from the ARI the patent rights to the FcãRIIa gene, and modified
    forms of the gene. As previously indicated these patents collectively provide a monopoly over
    commercial use of these genes, the resulting proteins and drugs used to inhibit the activity of the
    receptor.
    About Prima Biomed
    Based in Melbourne, Prima Biomed (ASX: PRR) is a biotechnology organisation with first and last rights
    over technologies from the Austin Research Institute. Prima Biomed specialises in immunology and
    cancer immunotherapy and adopts technology development that shows potential for commercial returns
    within three years.
 
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