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IMMUNE Pharmaceuticals Granted US$1 Million (NIS 3.8M) by the Office of the Chief Scientist in Israel

| Source: IMMUNE Pharmaceuticals

HERZLIYA, Israel and NEW YORK, Jan. 30, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- IMMUNE Pharmaceuticals, an emerging leader in the development of monoclonal antibody based therapeutics for the treatment of inflammatory diseases and cancer, today announced that the Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS) granted US$1 million (NIS 3.8M) to support two drug development programs:

  • US$605,000 (NIS 2.3M) for Antibody Nanoparticle Conjugates platform ("NanoMabs")
  • US$395,000 (NIS 1.5M) for Phase II clinical trials with Bertilimumab

"We are gratified that the Israeli Office of the Chief Scientist has selected Immune Pharmaceuticals to receive this award, which provides non-dilutive capital and external peer-reviewed validation demonstrating the therapeutic potential of Bertilimumab and NanoMabs,"said Dr. Daniel Teper, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Immune Pharmaceuticals. "Israel's scientific excellence and entrepreneurial culture, along with the global industry experience of our management team, are key assets that will enable us to reach our goal of building a world class bio-pharmaceutical company."

The NanoMabs product development platform is a second generation Antibody Drug Conjugate technology licensed by IMMUNE Pharmaceuticals from Yissum, the Technology Transfer arm of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. NanoMabs link monoclonal antibodies and drug-loaded nanoparticles, allowing for their targeted delivery into cancer cells. The NanoMabs technology was developed by a team led by Professor Shimon Benita, Dean of the School of Pharmacy at Hebrew University and Chairman of the Advisory Board of IMMUNE. The NanoMabs product development platform will be further developed under the leadership of Dr. Oshrat Frenkel, Director of Research at IMMUNE Pharmaceuticals, in anticipation of several corporate partnerships.

Bertilimumab is a first-in-class fully human monoclonal antibody that neutralizes human eotaxin-1, a chemokine that attracts inflammatory cells, eosinophils and regulates inflammation. Patient studies have revealed an association between eosinophils and the initiation of mucosal injury and clinical relapse in Ulcerative Colitis (UC) and Crohn's disease and provide strong rationale for the use of Bertilimumab for the treatment of these diseases. IMMUNE Pharmaceuticals is planning to start a phase II clinical trial in patients with moderate to severely active UC in 2012.  

Alan Harris, MD, PhD, Chief Medical Officer, stated, "IMMUNE is executing on its plan to release a new GMP clinical batch of Bertilimumab, file an Investigational New Drug application with the FDA basis of the original UK dossier, and develop clinical study protocols with leading gastroenterologists in Israel, Europe and the United States."

About IMMUNE Pharmaceuticals

IMMUNE Pharmaceuticals is an Israel and U.S. based biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of next generation monoclonal antibodies addressing significant unmet medical needs in the treatment of inflammatory diseases and cancer. IMMUNE Pharmaceuticals has built a robust pipeline of clinical and pre-clinical candidates based on novel targets and best-in-class antibody technologies.

IMMUNE licensed worldwide rights for systemic indications of Bertilimumab from iCo Therapeutics (TSX:ICO) in June 2011, while iCo retained rights to all ophthalmic indications. iCo originally licensed the exclusive world-wide rights to Bertilimumab in 2006 from MedImmune Limited (formerly known as Cambridge Antibody Technology Limited), the Global Biologics Arm of AstraZeneca.

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Forward Looking Statements

Certain statements included in this press release may be considered forward-looking. Such statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from those implied by such statements, and therefore these statements should not be read as guarantees of future performance or results. All forward-looking statements are based on IMMUNE Pharmaceuticals' current beliefs as well as assumptions made by and information currently available to IMMUNE Pharmaceuticals and relate to, among other things, anticipated financial performance, business prospects, strategies, regulatory developments, market acceptance and future commitments. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. Due to risks and uncertainties, actual events may differ materially from current expectations. IMMUNE Pharmaceuticals disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Ms. Anna Baran, Director, Corporate Development
IMMUNE Pharmaceuticals

Mr. Serge Goldner, Chief Financial Officer
IMMUNE Pharmaceuticals,
+972 9 88 666 12, 

Ms. Marcy Nanus, Vice President 
The Trout Group, LLC.