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Message - July 9, 2001
Third Monoclonal Antibody in Clinical Development


REHOVOT, Israel and NEW IPSWICH, N.H., July 3 /PRNewswire/ -- XTL

Biopharmaceuticals Ltd. (LSE: XTL) today announced the commencement of Phase I clinical studies with XTL-002, its human monoclonal antibody (mAb) being developed for the treatment of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections.  The study, being conducted in Israel, is expected to enroll 15 patients and is designed to test safety, tolerability and changes in viral levels in chronic hepatitis C patients.  The trial is being conducted following Food and Drug Administration (FDA, United States) and Ministry of Health (Israel) approvals.

XTL-002 is a fully human high-affinity monoclonal antibody which was shown to reduce viral levels of the HCV virus in XTL's proprietary in vivo model. The Company's HCV Trimera(XTL) model is being used in conjunction with a variety of corporate and academic partners to screen and evaluate novel compounds to treat HCV.

HCV is a major cause of chronic hepatitis in the United States and is a leading cause of liver transplantation.  An estimated 4 million individuals are infected with HCV in the United States and the World Health Organization estimates that 170 million people are infected worldwide.  Approximately 85% of HCV infected persons will develop chronic hepatitis, of which 20% will progress to liver cirrhosis.  The number of deaths attributable to HCV is expected to triple in the next 10 to 20 years.

Martin Becker, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of XTL, said:  "This is our third monoclonal antibody and second clinical programme to enter human studies for the treatment of viral hepatitis, clearly establishing XTL as a leader in the discovery and development of  therapeutics for these life-threatening chronic diseases."


XTL Biopharmaceuticals develops novel therapeutics to treat life-threatening infectious diseases using fully human monoclonal antibodies and small molecule drugs.  XTL's competitive advantage lies in its ability to leverage both its proprietary human tissue-based in vivo disease models and fully human monoclonal antibodies to validate and develop promising drug candidates.  The Company's growing pipeline of therapies, designed to combat chronic viral infections, drug-resistant bacteria and serious systemic fungal infections, comprises internally developed products as well as those being co-developed with a number of biopharmaceutical partners.

SOURCE  XTL Biopharmaceuticals Ltd.


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