Healthcare Industry News: Head and Neck Cancer
News Release - October 17, 2006
Introgen's ADVEXIN Molecular Targeted Therapy Is Active in Multiple Cancers; ADVEXIN Regulatory Program AdvancesAUSTIN, Texas, Oct. 17 (HSMN NewsFeed) -- Introgen Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: INGN ) today reported updated data from several clinical studies which demonstrate the activity of ADVEXIN p53 therapy in patients with cancers of the head and neck, lung, breast and esophagus. Additional results showing utility of ADVEXIN in the inherited cancer known as Li-Fraumeni Syndrome were also reported. Evaluation of molecular and clinical biomarkers was able to predict patient populations most likely to benefit from ADVEXIN therapy.
Data were presented over the weekend at the annual meeting of the International Society for Cell and Gene Therapy in Chiba City, Japan by Sunil Chada, Ph.D., Introgen's associate vice president of Clinical Research and Development. The international meeting joined hundreds of clinicians and researchers to discuss the progress of novel cancer treatments.
Dr. Chada commented, "ADVEXIN shrinks tumors, halts tumor growth, and improves symptoms in patients with multiple types of cancer. Patients with tumors having abnormal p53 were shown to have improved outcomes following ADVEXIN therapy. These observations are consistent with the presence of p53 abnormalities in the majority of cancers. Aberrant p53 is the molecular target of ADVEXIN therapy."
Dr. Robert E. Sobol, Introgen's senior vice-president of Medical and Scientific Affairs, stated, "We have advanced our analyses of ADVEXIN efficacy in recurrent, squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. These patients have limited effective treatment options. The ADVEXIN tumor response rate defined by a 30 percent reduction in tumor size was 10.3 percent for the overall population and 26.5 percent for the clinical biomarker defined population with a progression free interval of greater than 12 months from initial treatment who had prior chemotherapy. The durations of these responses were durable with a median of 5.7 months. In the overall treatment population, tumor response was associated with a statistically significant increase in survival. The median survival of the responders was 16.9 months compared to 5.4 months for non-responders (p < 0.0001). This phase 2 study evaluated 106 patients utilizing the ADVEXIN dose employed in our phase 3 clinical trials."
Introgen previously reported the identification of a set of prognostic indicators associated with high response rates and increased survival in Phase 2 clinical trials of ADVEXIN therapy in patients suffering from Head and Neck Cancer. Biomarkers are tests or measurements that can predict response to treatments targeted for particular individuals. Molecular biomarkers include measurements of genetic markers or molecular pathways while clinical biomarkers refer to clinical history or clinical measurements. Application of these biomarkers can predict the patients who are most likely to respond to ADVEXIN treatment and those patients most likely to be unresponsive to conventional treatments. Based upon Introgen's findings and phase 2 clinical trials, patients with abnormally high p53 protein expression levels are most likely to benefit from ADVEXIN p53 therapy, but have poor prognoses with conventional therapies.
In August, Introgen announced that an agreement had been reached with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to utilize biomarker data in the evaluation of phase 2 and phase 3 clinical trials. The Company is now amending its phase 3 clinical trial analyses plan to include analysis of molecular and clinical biomarkers. Introgen is seeking approval for advanced, recurrent squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck in the U.S. Introgen plans to initiate interim efficacy analyses of its ADVEXIN phase 3 clinical trials within the next quarter, and report the results to FDA later in 2007. Introgen expects Head and Neck Cancer regulatory filings in the US and EU to be completed within 2007.
ADVEXIN is a targeted molecular therapy with broad applicability in a wide range of tumor types and clinical settings because it targets one of the most fundamental and common molecular defects, abnormal p53 tumor suppressor function, associated with cancer initiation, progression and treatment resistance. ADVEXIN has demonstrated increased survival and durable locoregional disease control in recurrent Head and Neck Cancer patients. Prognostic biomarkers can identify patients most likely to respond to ADVEXIN. ADVEXIN has demonstrated clinical activity in a number of solid tumor types in multiple phase 1, 2 and 3 clinical trials conducted worldwide. A request for accelerated approval for ADVEXIN is now pending at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA has selected ADVEXIN as a fast track program for an unmet medical need and has designated ADVEXIN for orphan drug use for recurrent Head and Neck Cancer. Through its European subsidiary, Gendux, ADVEXIN has received Orphan Medicinal Product Designation by the European Medicines Agency for Li-Fraumeni Syndrome.
About Li-Fraumeni Syndrome
Li-Fraumeni Syndrome (LFS) is an inherited genetic disorder that greatly increases the risk of developing several types of cancer typically with initial occurrence at a young age. The majority of LFS families have inherited mutations in the p53 tumor suppressor gene. The treatment of Li-Fraumeni tumors with ADVEXIN p53 represents therapy targeted to the molecular defect underlying the cause and progression of these cancers.
Introgen Therapeutics, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of targeted molecular therapies for the treatment of cancer and other diseases. Introgen is developing molecular therapeutics, immunotherapies, vaccines and nano-particle tumor suppressor therapies to treat a wide range of cancers using tumor suppressors, cytokines and genes. Introgen maintains integrated research, development, manufacturing, clinical and regulatory departments and operates multiple manufacturing facilities including a commercial scale cGMP manufacturing facility.
Statements in this release that are not strictly historical may be "forward-looking" statements, including those relating to Introgen's future success with its ADVEXIN clinical development and regulatory program for the treatment of cancer. The actual results may differ from those described in this release due to risks and uncertainties that exist in Introgen's operations and business environment, including Introgen's stage of product development and the limited experience in the development of gene-based drugs in general, dependence upon proprietary technology and the current competitive environment, history of operating losses and accumulated deficits, reliance on collaborative relationships, and uncertainties related to clinical trials, the safety and efficacy of Introgen's product candidates, the ability to obtain the appropriate regulatory approvals, Introgen's patent protection and market acceptance, as well as other risks detailed from time to time in Introgen's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission including its filings on Form 10-K and Form 10-Q. Introgen undertakes no obligation to publicly release the results of any revisions to any forward-looking statements that reflect events or circumstances arising after the date hereof.
Editor's Note: For more information on Introgen Therapeutics, or for a menu of archived press releases, please visit Introgen's Website at: http://www.introgen.com .
Source: Introgen Therapeutics
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