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Abgenix Reports Positive Survival Data From A Phase II Trial Of ABX-CBL In Graft Versus Host Disease

FREMONT, Calif., May 18, 1999 -- Abgenix, Inc. (Nasdaq: ABGX) reported today additional results of a Phase II clinical trial of ABX-CBL in graft versus host disease ("GVHD"). ABX-CBL is a proprietary in-licensed mouse antibody that binds to the CBL antigen. The CBL antigen is upregulated on activated immune cells, including T cells, B cells and natural killer cells. The completed trial involved patients in four dose cohorts with severe GVHD, an often fatal side effect of bone marrow transplants ("BMT"). Among patients in the three higher dose cohorts, 56% (10 of 18) survived at least 100 days from the start of treatment with ABX-CBL. This compared favorably to a 22% (2 of 9) survival rate in the low dose cohort. Robert Rivkin, M.D. of the Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers in Denver, Colorado, presented the details of the clinical trial today at the 1999 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

"We believe the survival data reported today strengthens the preliminary safety and response rate data reported earlier," stated R. Scott Greer, president and chief executive officer of Abgenix. "We plan to initiate a pivotal Phase III clinical trial for ABX-CBL as soon as feasible after we have approval from the FDA to proceed."

In March, at the International Bone Marrow Transplant Registry ("IBMTR") meeting, it was reported that, among patients in the three higher dose cohorts, 73% (11 of 15) had a two grade or better improvement in the IBMTR GVHD Severity Scale. This compared favorably to a 25% (2 of 8) response rate in the low dose cohort.

GHVD is a life threatening complication that frequently occurs following an allogeneic BMT. BMTs are used in the treatment of patients with end stage leukemia, certain other serious cancers and immune system disorders. An allogeneic BMT procedure involves transferring marrow, the graft, from a healthy person into an immunosuppressed patient, the host. The transplant is intended to restore nor
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Contact: Page Sargisson
p.sargisson@noonanrusso.com
415-677-4455 x229
Noonan/Russo Communications
18-May-1999


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