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INGN 241 Works Synergistically With Avastin(R) To Cut Blood


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Introgen's INGN 241 Works Synergistically With Avastin® To Cut Blood Supply To Cancers

20 Sep 2006

Introgen Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: INGN) reported data from preclinical studies in which mda-7, the active component of INGN 241, in combination with Avastin® (Bevacizumab), produced a complete and synergistic therapeutic effect in models of lung cancer. INGN 241 and Avastin each inhibit the development of blood vessels in tumors, called angiogenesis, through distinct mechanisms, and the combination of the two agents significantly increases antitumor activity compared to the activity of either agent used alone. Researchers at Introgen and The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center conducted the study. Dr. Rajagopal Ramesh, Associate Professor, Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Medicine at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center was principal investigator of the study and presented the data today at the 4th Annual Angiogenesis and Vascular Targeting conference held in Boston.

"These results are very encouraging because they suggest that the anti- cancer activity of targeted, anti-angiogenic agents can be enhanced without increasing toxicity," said Sunil Chada, Ph.D., associate vice president, Clinical Research and Development, at Introgen. "The data presented today, and our robust body of clinical data demonstrating the favorable safety and tolerability profiles of INGN 241 suggests that this investigational cancer therapy may be combined with Avastin to make a more potent weapon in the fight against cancer."

Tumor angiogenesis -- the formation of new blood vessels within a tumor -- is essential to support the growth of tumors beyond a minimum size. Avastin is a therapeutic antibody designed to inhibit angiogenesis by binding to and inhibiting the activity of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), a key mediator of angiogenesis. Although inhibiting VEGF activity with Avastin reduces tumor angiogenesis and growth, it does not eradicate tumors. MDA-7 also has been shown to have potent anti-angiogenic activity, and works via a different mechanism than Avastin. The reported study was designed to evaluate the combination of INGN 241 and Avastin on tumor angiogenesis, growth and survival.

Dr. Chada continued, "INGN 241 functions to block angiogenesis by inhibiting expression 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 anti-angiogenic mechanisms provides enhanced anti-tumor effects and completely eradicates tumors in mice, resulting in dramatic 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 was discovered by 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.

About Introgen

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.

Introgen Therapeutics, Inc.


Article URL: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medical ... wsid=52291

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