REDWOOD CITY, Calif., Nov. 26 Maxygen, Inc.(Nasdaq: MAXY) announced today that Roche and Maxygen have agreed to terminatedevelopment of MAXY-alpha, also known as R7025, and to end the agreement underwhich Maxygen licensed MAXY-alpha to Roche. The news follows Maxygen'sannouncement of September 21, 2007, that Roche had voluntarily placed a holdon the program.
"While we are disappointed, we recognized and had advised earlier thattermination of the program was one of the likely possibilities," said RussellHoward, Maxygen's chief executive officer. "Tremendous potential remains inMaxygen's portfolio and we look forward to 2008, a key year for our two leadprograms, MAXY-G34 and MAXY-VII."
The MAXY-alpha program was fully funded by Roche, with no milestonepayments expected in 2007 or 2008. As such, Maxygen expects no near-termimpact on its financials as a result of the termination. Upon termination ofthe agreement, all rights to Maxygen's interferon variant product candidatesrevert back to Maxygen.
MAXY-alpha was designed to be a next-generation alpha interferon for thetreatment of Hepatitis C and Hepatitis B virus infections. Alpha interferon isa natural protein that is produced by many cell types, including T-cells andB-cells, macrophages, fibroblasts, endothelial cells, and osteoblasts, and isan important component of the anti-viral response, stimulating bothmacrophages and natural killer (NK) cells. MAXY-alpha was being developedunder a 2003 agreement between Maxygen and Roche to develop novel interferonalpha and beta products for a wide range of indications.
Maxygen is a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing improvedversions of protein drugs. We look for opportunities where our proprietaryprotein modification technologies can address significant therapeutic needs.Our lead program, MAXY-G34, is designed to be an improved version of G-CSF forthe treatment of neutropenia. MAXY-G34 is currently in Phase II clinicaltrials. Also in our pipeline is a novel Factor VIIa for the treatment ofhemophilia. Maxygen's approach to drug discovery and development may allow usto leverage the established development and regulatory paths of approveddrugs. We believe this advantage translates to a greater chance ofsuccessfully bringing important new drugs to market. http://www.maxygen.com
This news release contains forward-looking statements about our researchand business prospects, including those relating to our ability to develop anyhuman therapeutic products suitable for commercialization, our ability orplans to continue the development of MAXY-G34 or MAXY-VII, and the timing andstatus of such development. Such statements involve risks and uncertaintiesthat may cause results to differ materially from those set forth in thesestatements. Among other things these risks and uncertainties include, but arenot limited to, changing research and business priorities of Maxygen, theinherent uncertainties of pharmaceutical research and drug development, ourability to develop human therapeutic drugs in an increasingly competitivebiotechnology industry and the uncertain timing of such development and thedevelopment of superior products by competitors. These and other risk factorsare more fully discussed in our Form 10-K for the year ended December 31,2006, including under the caption "Risk Factors", and in our other periodicSEC reports, all of which are available from Maxygen athttp://www.maxygen.com. Maxygen disclaims any obligation to update or reviseany forward-looking statement contained in this release as a result of newinformation or future events or developments.
SOURCE Maxygen, Inc.