January 25, 2001
ImmunoGen and Avalon Enter Genomics-Based Collaboration

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., and GAITHERSBURG, Md., Jan. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- ImmunoGen, Inc. (Nasdaq: IMGN) and Avalon Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced that they have entered into a license agreement to develop antibody- based products based on genomics targets. Avalon will provide gene targets to ImmunoGen, and ImmunoGen will be responsible for development, manufacturing and commercialization of any resulting products. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

"Entering into this agreement with Avalon is an important component of our strategy to fill our pipeline with products based on genomics-derived targets," said Mitchel Sayare, Ph.D., Chairman and CEO of ImmunoGen, Inc. "We are impressed with the resources that Avalon has marshaled since its founding, and believe they will provide us with quality targets with which we can develop antibody-based products."

"This agreement represents the first step in our strategy to identify key targets for drug discovery," said Ken Carter, Ph.D., President and CEO of Avalon Pharmaceuticals, Inc. "ImmunoGen is uniquely positioned to maximize our discovery of these unique targets in the field of antibody-based cancer therapeutics, so we are pleased to be working with them."

ImmunoGen, Inc. develops innovative biopharmaceuticals, primarily for cancer treatment. The Company has created potent tumor-activated prodrugs, consisting of drugs coupled to monoclonal antibodies for delivery to and destruction of cancer cells.

Its lead product, huC242-DM1/SB-408075 is in two Phase I/II clinical trials for colorectal, pancreatic and certain non-small-cell lung cancers. An Investigational New Drug (IND) application for the Company's second product, huN901-DM1/BB-10901, has been filed with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and must be accepted before clinical evaluation in humans can begin. Besides Avalon, the Company has collaborative arrangements with GlaxoSmithKline, Genentech, British Biotech, Abgenix, and MorphoSys.

Avalon Pharmaceuticals is a genomics-based company utilizing unique and proprietary methods to accelerate the drug discovery process. Through its comprehensive genomics approach, Avalon is able to pinpoint new drug targets and screen them in complex biological systems, facilitating the identification of lead compounds. Currently, Avalon is focusing its efforts on isolating new potential drug targets that play key roles in the malignant transformation of cancer cells, and coupling these targets with approaches for rapid identification of novel therapeutic compounds.

This press release includes forward-looking statements based on management's current expectations. Factors that could cause future results to differ materially from such expectations include, but are not limited to: the ability to secure future funding; the success of the Company's research strategy; the applicability of the discoveries made therein; the difficulties inherent in the development of pharmaceuticals, including uncertainties as to the timing and results of preclinical studies; delayed achievements of milestones; reliance on collaborators; uncertainty as to whether the Company's potential products will succeed in entering human clinical trials and uncertainty as to the results of such trials; uncertainty as to whether adequate reimbursement for these products will exist from the government, private healthcare insurers and third-party payors; and the uncertainties as to the extent of future government regulation of the pharmaceutical business.

ImmunoGen, Inc.
Mitchel Sayare
Chairman and CEO
Tel: (617) 995-2500
Fax: (617) 995-2510

Avalon Pharmaceuticals
Deborah Grippaudo, Media Relations
Tel: (301) 556-1040
Fax: (301) 556-1100

SOURCE ImmunoGen, Inc.



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