Healthcare Industry News: M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
News Release - January 24, 2007
Introgen Reports that INGN 241 in Combination with Avastin(R) Results in Complete Tumor RegressionData Published in the journal Molecular Therapy
AUSTIN, Texas--(HSMN NewsFeed)--Introgen Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:INGN ) announced today the publication of data in Molecular Therapy, the journal of the American Society of Gene Therapy, highlighting the results of a preclinical study with INGN 241 in combination with AvastinŽ (Bevacizumab). Synergistic activity resulting in a curative therapeutic effect was seen in the treatment of lung cancer following the combination of the two agents. In contrast, treatment with Avastin alone demonstrated only minor tumor regression and no animals were cured of their cancer. The study was conducted at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center by Introgen's collaborator Dr. Rajagopal Ramesh, associate professor, Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery.
"The outcome of this study is encouraging and for the first time we are able to show that lung tumors treated with a combination of INGN 241 plus Avastin produced complete inhibitory activity," said Dr. Ramesh.
The study shows that the combination of INGN 241 and Avastin is very effective and blocks tumor angiogenesis -- the formation of new blood vessels within a tumor -- that is essential to support tumor growth beyond a minimum size. The results indicate that tumors completely regressed within the first four weeks of treatment and that no additional growth was observed after cessation of therapy.
INGN 241 is a tumor suppressor that has been shown to have potent anti-angiogenic activity and works by inhibiting the production of a key blood vessel growth protein termed vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Avastin is a therapeutic antibody designed to inhibit angiogenesis via a different mechanism by binding to and inhibiting the activity of VEGF. Although inhibiting VEGF activity with Avastin reduces tumor angiogenesis and growth, it does not eradicate tumors. The reported study has proven that the combination of INGN 241 and Avastin results in complete tumor inhibition and regression.
Dr. Sunil Chada, PhD., Introgen's associate vice president of Research and Clinical Development, said, "INGN 241 functions to block angiogenesis by inhibiting production of VEGF -- a critical protein in tumor angiogenesis. In contrast, Avastin blocks binding of VEGF to its receptor. Thus combining these two agents with distinct but complementary anti-angiogenic mechanisms provides synergistic anti-tumor effects and completely eradicates tumors resulting in dramatic cures and improvement in survival."
About INGN 241
INGN 241 is being tested in a Phase 2 clinical trial for patients suffering from advanced melanoma and in a Phase 3 clinical trial in combination with radiation therapy in solid tumors. The mda-7 gene is the active component of INGN 241 and was discovered in the laboratory of Dr. Paul B. Fisher, professor of clinical pathology at Columbia University. Introgen holds an exclusive worldwide sublicense to the Columbia University rights for all gene therapy applications from GlaxoSmithKline.
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.
Introgen holds a licensing agreement with M. D. Anderson Cancer Center to commercialize products based on licensed technologies, and has the option to license future technologies under sponsored research agreements. The University of Texas Board of Regents owns stock in Introgen. These arrangements are managed in accordance with M. D. Anderson's conflict of interest policies.
Statements in this release that are not strictly historical may be "forward-looking" statements, including those relating to Introgen's future success with its INGN 241 clinical development program in combination for 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.
Source: Introgen Therapeutics
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