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June 28, 1999

Erasmus University Rotterdam and Onyvax Announce Collaboration in Prostate Cancer Research

Monday, 28 June 1999. Onyvax Limited (London, UK) and the Experimental Urology Research Group of the Erasmus University Rotterdam (NL), have entered into a research collaboration for the study of prostate cancer. The Experimental Urology group will contribute material from its proprietary xenograft technology, prostate tissue and cell banks. Onyvax will apply its proven expertise in cell culture and immortalization techniques to generate novel cell-lines that will be used by the Experimental Urology group in its research. Onyvax has exclusive world-wide rights to use the cell-lines in its cancer vaccine programs.

Onyvax is an early stage biotechnology company focused on the research and development of vaccines and other therapies which direct the immune system to attack cancer cells. Dr. Andrew Sutton, Head of R&D for Onyvax said "this is an exciting opportunity to collaborate with one of the leading prostate research groups in Europe. It gives Onyvax access to human tissues derived from multiple disease stages and sites. It's a symbiotic programme, providing reagents invaluable to the research of both groups". Dr. Wytske M. van Weerden, senior researcher at the Experimental Urology Research Group said "the establishment of immortalized in vitro cell-lines from our in vivo xenograft models has proven to be very difficult. The collaboration with Onyvax as experts in this field will provide us with cell-lines which will greatly extend the use of our model systems for fundamental and preclinical research".

Background on the Experimental Urology Research Group

The Experimental Urology Research Group is part of the Department of Urology of the University Hospital Rotterdam (UHR) and the Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) headed by Prof. Dr. Fritz H. Schröder. Recently, the group has joined with several oncology research groups of the UHR/EUR and the Daniel Den Hoed Cancer Center Rotterdam to form the Josephine Nefkens Institute (JNI). The JNI brings under one roof various research groups working on the general theme of molecular pathology of cancer. The Experimental Urology Research Group has focused this basic research on prostate cancer with a special interest in new experimental model development.

Background on Onyvax

Onyvax is an early stage biotechnology company based at St. George's Hospital Medical School (SGHMS) in London. Building on the research of its Research Director, Angus Dalgleish, Professor of Clinical Oncology at SGHMS, Onyvax is developing a range of anti-cancer vaccines, the first of which, for advanced prostate cancer, entered the clinic in December 1998. Onyvax was established in 1997 and is backed by venture capital from 3i, Alta Berkeley, S.R. One and the PS Wallenberg Trust.

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