Cangene Corp. expects to begin next month a Phase I/II clinical trial ofits interleukin-3 (IL-3) drug, Allevorin, for use in boosting productionof white blood cells in cancer patients treated with chemotherapy.The Toronto-based company's study will involve 19 to 25 patients withmetastatic breast cancer and will be conducted at the Jewish GeneralHospital in Montreal. The trial is part of Cangene's effort to seekmarket approval of Allevorin in Canada.Jean Compton, Cangene's manager of investor relations, saidparticipants will be treated with Allevorin after receivingchemotherapy. The Phase I/II study, she said, is designed to test thesafety of the drug and patient enrollment is expected to take up to oneyear.Cancer patients who undergo chemotherapeutic treatments experiencea reduction in white blood cells. Compton said Cangene is seeking tomarket Allevorin to use in association with chemotherapy to enhancerecovery of the bone marrow in order to increase white blood cellproduction.Allevorin, she said, is Cangene's brand of IL-3, which is a cytokinethat stimulates blood precursor cells.Cangene's lead drug, Leucotropin, is a granulocyte-macrophage colonystimulating factor (GM-CSF), which also is a cytokine. The company istesting Leucotropin in a Phase II/III trial to boost production of whiteblood cells in AIDS patients who are being treated with Ganciclovir forcytomegalovirus retinitis. _ Charles Craig
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