SUNNYVALE, Calif., May 6, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Galaxy Biotech, LLC (Galaxy), a privately held, clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on discovering and developing novel humanized antibodies for the treatment of cancer, announced that the Company's president, Cary Queen, Ph.D., has been nominated for the European Inventor Award 2014.

Every year the European Patent Office presents a European Inventor Award in each of five categories to recognize the scientific and commercial importance of a European patent. Dr. Queen is one of several nominees in the Non-European Countries category, which is open to inventors from outside of Europe. The nomination recognizes Dr. Queen's patent for a general method to humanize monoclonal antibodies for drugs. Humanized antibodies are monoclonal antibodies in which the key parts of a mouse antibody are combined with most of a human antibody to improve therapeutic utility. The winners of the European Inventor Awards are selected by a distinguished international panel of judges and will be announced in a ceremony in Berlin on June 17, 2014.

Eight therapeutic humanized antibodies utilizing the patented humanization technology are currently sold under license from PDL BioPharma, Inc., owner of the patent. These products have over $15 billion in annual sales and include the blockbuster drugs Herceptin® and Avastin® developed by Genentech, Inc. and used to treat breast, colon, lung and other cancers.

Dr. Queen said, "This nomination not only honors my work in developing fundamental technology for antibody humanization, but also the work of my colleagues and thousands of other scientists in applying this technology to develop life-saving drugs to treat cancer and other serious diseases. While I will be delighted if I win the Award, the many human lives prolonged or saved by breakthrough drugs based on the technology is a source of even deeper satisfaction."

Dr. Queen invented the patented technology in 1988 while leading the research efforts at Protein Design Labs, Inc. (now PDL BioPharma), which he co-founded. Dr. Queen was nominated for the Award jointly with Harold E. "Barry" Selick, Ph.D., co-inventor of the patent. Dr. Selick was an early member of the research team at PDL, and made an important contribution in applying the technology to humanize an antibody for prevention of kidney transplant rejection, which was described in the patent and was the first humanized antibody to receive marketing approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

About the invention

Humanized antibodies are monoclonal antibodies in which the key parts of a mouse monoclonal antibody are combined, using recombinant DNA technology, with most of a human antibody. A humanized antibody retains the desirable properties of a mouse antibody, for example the ability to target a cancer cell, while avoiding an immune response when used to treat human patients, which would neutralize a mouse antibody and render it ineffective for therapy. Building on earlier work at the Medical Research Council in England, Dr. Queen developed a method to use computer modeling to select precisely the parts of a mouse antibody that should be incorporated into a human antibody to produce an optimal humanized antibody.

About Galaxy Biotech

Galaxy Biotech, LLC. is a privately held, clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on discovering and developing novel humanized antibodies for the treatment of cancer. The Company has licensed two of its humanized antibodies respectively to Five Prime Therapeutics, Inc. and Hoffmann-La Roche, Inc. for development and marketing, while independently developing another humanized antibody for treatment of gastric and potentially other cancers. The latter antibody has shown excellent safety and an indication of activity in a Phase I clinical trial.

Herceptin and Avastin are registered trademarks of Genentech, Inc.

Cary Queen
Galaxy Biotech, LLC