Healthcare Industry News: rituximab
News Release - March 25, 2008
Micromet Establishes New Scientific Advisory Board for Its BiTE Antibody Technology with Leading Experts in the Fields of Oncology, Immunotherapy and Drug DevelopmentBETHESDA, Md., March 25 (HSMN NewsFeed) -- Micromet, Inc. (Nasdaq: MITI ), a biopharmaceutical company developing novel, proprietary antibodies for the treatment of cancer, inflammation and autoimmune diseases, today named five leading oncology and immunology researchers to its newly formed panel of BiTE® antibody advisors. Richard A. Flavell (Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut), Michael J. Keating (MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas), Ronald Levy (Stanford University, Stanford, California), Jeffrey V. Ravetch (Rockefeller University, New York, New York), and Anthony W. Tolcher (South Texas Accelerated Research Therapeutics, San Antonio, Texas) will support the company in the further development of its BiTE antibodies directed against a variety of existing and new anti-cancer targets.
Micromet's BiTE antibodies activate the body's T cells to seek and destroy cancer cells in a tightly controlled manner. This approach is believed to provide the basis for a new generation of drugs that could potentially overcome some of the most significant therapeutic limitations of monoclonal antibodies and other conventional approaches to cancer treatment.
Richard A. Flavell, Ph.D., is a Sterling Professor and Chairman of Immunobiology at Yale School of Medicine, and investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He was previously chief scientific officer at Biogen Corporation, and is member of both the Royal Society and National Academy of Sciences. He is a leading expert on activation and differentiation of T cells.
Michael J. Keating, M.B., B.S., is Professor of Medicine and internist for the Department of Hematology at University Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center. His awards include the Dr. Kenneth B. McCredie Chair in Clinical Leukemia Research and the 1996 'Best Doctor of America Leukemia Award.' Dr. Keating is a leading expert on chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), and remarked, "The first efficacy data of BiTE antibody MT103/MEDI-538 in the treatment of late- stage lymphoma patients showing complete or partial responses are highly impressive and give hope that this and other BiTE antibodies will add significantly to the future armentarium of hemato-oncologists."
Ronald Levy, M.D., is the Robert K. Summy and Helen K. Summy Professor of Medicine, Chief of the Division of Oncology, at Stanford University School of Medicine. Highly regarded for his achievements in the therapy of B cell malignancies, Dr. Levy pioneered the clinical development of the anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody rituximab (Rituxan®). "MT103, the BiTE molecule the furthest along in clinical development, targets CD19. Treatments directed at CD19 are considered highly promising for the treatment of a broad range of patients with B cell malignancies," commented Dr. Levy.
Jeffrey V. Ravetch, M.D., Ph.D. is a Theresa and Eugene M. Lang Professor at Rockefeller University. He is a member of National Academy of Sciences and received numerous awards for his groundbreaking research in immunology. As a leading expert on antibody-mediated effector mechanisms and immune regulation, Dr. Ravetch comments, "By engaging T cells, BiTE antibodies have the potential to surpass the efficacy of conventional monoclonal antibody therapies."
Anthony W. Tolcher, M.D., FRCP©, is the Director of START (South Texas Accelerated Research Therapeutics) and Clinical Professor of Medicine in the Division of Medical Oncology at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. He is a pioneer in the clinical development of novel anti- cancer agents for which he received numerous awards. "Unlike most other antibody-based approaches, BiTE antibodies promise to be effective as monotherapy in patients both with early- and late-stage disease," said Dr. Tolcher.
"Micromet assembled a scientific advisory board of world-renowned oncology and immunology researchers to provide guidance in the further development of our BiTE antibody technology," commented Micromet CEO Christian Itin, Ph.D. "We also look forward to the support and insight they can provide to the academic, industry and investor communities."
About BiTE Antibodies
BiTE® antibodies are designed to direct the body's cytotoxic, or cell- destroying, T cells against tumor cells, and represent a new therapeutic approach to cancer therapy. BiTE antibodies have been shown to induce an immunological synapse between a T cell and a tumor cell in the same manner as observed during physiological T cell attacks. These cytolytic synapses enable the delivery of cytotoxic proteins from T cells into tumor cells, ultimately inducing a self-destruction process in the tumor cell referred to as apoptosis, or programmed cell death. In the presence of BiTE antibodies, T cells have been demonstrated to serially eliminate tumor cells, which explains the activity of BiTE antibodies at very low concentrations and at very low ratios of T cells to target cells. Through the process of killing cancer cells, T cells proliferate, which leads to an increased number of T cells at the site of attack.
Several antibodies in Micromet's product pipeline are BiTE antibodies and have been generated based on Micromet's proprietary BiTE product development platform. The most advanced BiTE antibody is MT103 (MEDI-538), targeting CD19, and has provided proof-of-concept in an ongoing phase 1 clinical study in advanced non-Hodgkin's lymphoma patients. MT110, which is targeting EpCAM (CD326), has completed preclinical development and is the first BITE antibody with potential applications in the treatment of solid tumors. Two additional BiTE antibodies, targeting CEA and MCSP, are in pre-clinical development.
About Micromet, Inc. (www.micromet-inc.com)
Micromet, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company developing novel, proprietary antibodies for the treatment of cancer, inflammation and autoimmune diseases. Three of its antibodies are in clinical development. MT103 (MEDI-538), the first antibody in Micromet's product pipeline developed utilizing the BiTE® antibody technology platform, is being evaluated in a phase 2 clinical trial for the treatment of patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and in a phase 1 clinical trial for the treatment of patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. BiTE antibodies represent a new class of therapeutic antibodies that activate a patient's own cytotoxic T cells to eliminate cancer cells. Micromet is developing MT103 in collaboration with MedImmune, a subsidiary of Astra Zeneca plc. The second clinical stage antibody is adecatumumab (MT201), a human monoclonal antibody targeting EpCAM expressing tumors. Adecatumumab is being developed by Micromet in collaboration with Merck Serono in a phase 1b clinical trial evaluating adecatumumab in combination with docetaxel for the treatment of patients with metastatic breast cancer. The third clinical stage antibody is MT293 (formerly D93), also known as TRC093, a first-in-class humanized monoclonal antibody that inhibits angiogenesis and tumor cell growth by binding cleaved collagen. MT293, which is currently being tested in a phase 1 clinical trial, is licensed to TRACON Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and is being developed for the treatment of patients with cancer and age-related macular degeneration. In addition, Micromet has established a collaboration with Nycomed for the development and commercialization of MT203, Micromet's human antibody neutralizing the activity of granulocyte/macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF), which has potential applications in the treatment of various inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, or multiple sclerosis.
This release contains certain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to be materially different from historical results or from any future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from any future results expressed or implied by any forward-looking statements include the risk that product candidates that appeared promising in early research, preclinical studies or clinical trials do not demonstrate safety and/or efficacy in subsequent clinical trials, the risk that encouraging results from early research, preclinical studies or clinical trials may not be confirmed upon further analysis of the detailed results of such research, preclinical study or clinical trial, the risk that additional information relating to the safety, efficacy or tolerability of our product candidates may be discovered upon further analysis of preclinical or clinical trial data, the risk that we or our collaborators will not obtain approval to market our product candidates, the risks associated with reliance on outside financing to meet capital requirements, and the risks associated with reliance on collaborators, including MedImmune, Merck Serono, TRACON and Nycomed, for the funding or conduct of further development and commercialization activities relating to our product candidates. You are urged to consider statements that include the words "ongoing", "may", "will", "would", "could", "should", "believes", "estimates", "projects", "potential", "expects", "suggests", "plans", "anticipates", "intends", "continues", "forecast", "designed", "goal", or the negative of those words or other comparable words to be uncertain and forward-looking. These factors and others are more fully discussed in our periodic reports and other filings with the SEC.
Any forward-looking statements are made pursuant to Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and, as such, speak only as of the date made. Micromet, Inc. undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Source: Micromet, Inc
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