XOMA Announces Pre-Clinical and Clinical Progress On HCD122

ORLANDO, Fla., Dec. 11, 2006 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- At the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH), XOMA Ltd. (Nasdaq:XOMA), along with Novartis, announced pre-clinical and preliminary Phase 1 clinical trial results of the use of the experimental drug HCD122, an anti-CD-40 monoclonal antibody, in the treatment of patients with relapsed and refractory Multiple Myeloma (MM) and Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL). The development of HCD122 (formerly known as CHIR-12.12) began in 2004 as part of XOMA's collaboration with Chiron Corporation, which Novartis acquired earlier this year. Chiron is now known as Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics, Inc.

"We are pleased to see continued progress in the clinical program for CLL and MM. We are also very encouraged with the results in preclinical animal models of lymphoma that showed a very favorable profile for HCD122," said Jack Castello, chairman of the board, president, and chief executive officer of XOMA. "We continue to believe this is a very promising drug and expect to expand clinical development into other indications during 2007."

About HCD122

HCD122 is a fully human antagonist anti-CD40 monoclonal antibody for treatment of B-cell malignancies. As shown in vitro in cell lines, in vivo in animal models and ex vivo in patient cells, HCD122 has a dual mode of action: (1) This antibody binds to tumor cells that express CD40 and prevents CD40 ligand-mediated growth and survival of malignant B cells; and (2) HCD122 induces antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC), killing CD40 expressing tumor cells by immune effector cells. This dual mechanism of action makes HCD122 a drug candidate with potential for the treatment of B-cell malignancies.

About XOMA

XOMA is a leader in the discovery, development and manufacture of therapeutic antibodies, with a therapeutic focus that includes cancer and immune diseases. XOMA has royalty interests in RAPTIVA(r) (efalizumab), a monoclonal antibody product marketed worldwide (by Genentech, Inc. and Serono, SA) to treat moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis, and LUCENTIS(tm) (ranibizumab injection), a monoclonal antibody product marketed worldwide (by Genentech, Inc. and Novartis AG) to treat neovascular (wet) age-related macular degeneration.

The company has built a premier antibody discovery and development platform that includes access to seven of the leading commercially available antibody phage display libraries and XOMA's proprietary Human Engineering(tm) and bacterial cell expression (BCE) technologies. More than 45 companies have signed BCE licenses. XOMA's development collaborators include Lexicon Genetics, Inc., Novartis, Schering-Plough Corporation and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited. With a fully integrated product development infrastructure, XOMA's product development capabilities extend from preclinical sciences to product launch. For more information, please visit the company's website at www.xoma.com.

Certain statements contained herein concerning product development or that otherwise relate to future periods are forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Such statements are based on assumptions that may not prove accurate. Actual results could differ materially from those anticipated due to certain risks inherent in the biotechnology industry and for companies engaged in the development of new products in a regulated market. These and other risks, including those related to the results of discovery research and preclinical testing; the timing or results of pending and future clinical trials (including the design and progress of clinical trials; safety and efficacy of the products being tested; action, inaction or delay by the FDA, European or other regulators or their advisory bodies; and analysis or interpretation by, or submission to, these entities or others of scientific data); uncertainties regarding the status of biotechnology patents; uncertainties as to the cost of protecting intellectual property; changes in the status of the existing collaborative and licensing relationships; the ability of collaborators, licensees and other third parties to meet their obligations; market demand for products; scale up and marketing capabilities; competition; international operations; share price volatility; XOMA's financing needs and opportunities and risks associated with XOMA's status as a Bermuda company, are described in more detail in XOMA's most recent annual report on Form 10-K and in other SEC filings. Consider such risks carefully in considering XOMA's prospects.


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