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Introgen Therapeutics Says INGN 241- Avastin Combination

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Improves Enhanced Anti-tumor Activity - Update

http://www.tradingmarkets.com/tm.site/n ... WS/210740/

Monday, April 03, 2006; Posted: 03:17 PM

(RTTNews) - Monday, Introgen Therapeutics, Inc. (INGN | charts | news | Powerrating), a biopharmaceutical company, said a combination of INGN 241 and Avastin increased anti-tumor activity compared to either agent used separately.

Citing data from preclinical studies evaluating MDA-7, the active component of INGN 241, in combination with Avastin or bevacizumab in lung cancer models, conducted by Introgen and The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, the company stated that results suggest achieving enhanced anti- cancer activity of targeted, anti-angiogenic agents without increasing toxicity. The data also point out the effectiveness of combining investigational cancer therapy with Avastin to make vascular endothelial growth factor or VGRF inhibition ‘a more potent weapon' in fighting cancer, the company noted.

Avastin, a therapeutic antibody, inhibits angiogenesis by binding to and inhibiting the activity of VEGF, a key mediator of angiogenesis. The company reported that though inhibiting VEGF activity with Avastin reduces tumor angiogenesis and growth, it does not eradicate tumors.

Study results show that MDA-7 inhibits VEGF activity by decreasing VEGF gene expression. When used as single agents in cultured lung cancer cells, both INGN 241 and Avastin inhibited VEGF activity but had no effect on tumor cell growth. In animal models of transplanted human lung tumors, nearly 70% of animals treated with INGN 241 and Avastin revealed complete tumor regression, with no comparable effect when treated with either agent alone or in controls, indicating efficacy of INGN 241-Avastin combine in offering a potential strategy for treating lung cancer, the company said.

The results show that strategies to block cell survival pathways' activation may boost INGN 241's anti-cancer activity. The data also show that targeting MDA-7 results in heightened tumor cell killing compared to untargeted protein.

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