Coulter And Cobra Agree Collaboration

Coulter Pharmaceutical, Inc. and Ltd, the gene therapy subsidiary of ML Laboratories, have entered into a collaboration to jointly develop and commercialise Cobra’s platform gene expression technology.

The technology, known as Ubiquitous Chromatin Opening Elements (UCOEs), is a new class of gene expression elements which induce efficient productivity from genes introduced into target cells.

UCOE transfected cells yield more predictable, high-level expression of gene products in a sustained fashion.

UCOEs have a wide range of potential applications including gene therapy, functional genomics and the manufacture of therapeutic proteins including recombinant antibodies.

“We are pleased to enter into this broad collaboration with Cobra whose UCOE technology is a perfect complement to our antibody therapeutics program,” said Michael F. Bigham, president and CEO of Coulter.

“UCOE technology is a powerful enabling platform technology with dramatic potential in the creation and manufacture of therapeutics.

We look forward to leveraging this platform in our own internal programs as well as licensing the technology to external parties.”

Stuart Sim, chief executive of ML Laboratories said, “The application of our technology in this area is particularly important as it represents a major class of therapeutic proteins and consequently offers significant commercial potential.”

Coulter Pharmaceutical, Inc. is engaged in the development of novel drugs and therapies for the treatment of cancer and autoimmune diseases.

The company currently is developing a family of therapeutics based upon two drug development programs: therapeutic antibodies and targeted oncologics.

The company’s most advanced product candidate is Bexxar, a monoclonal antibody conjugated to a radioisotope.

The company’s therapeutic antibodies program also includes an interferon receptor antagonist.

Initial efforts in the targeted oncologics program are based on tumor activated prodrug (TAP) and tumor-specific targeting (TST) technologies.

is one of Europe’s leading research groups developing novel DNA technologies for applications in human gene therapy, the genomics revolution and manufacturing of biological products.

In addition Cobra manufacturers DNA and viral products on a contract basis for several pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies including Glaxo Welcome at its GMP manufacturing facility in Keele, Staffs, which is one of only a small number of such facilities in Europe.