Medarex Inc. said Thursday it started its first clinical trial thatcombines its Bispecific antibody-based therapeutic in combination withgranulocyte colony stimulating factor (G-CSF).The Princeton, N.J., company has started a Phase I/II trial in Germanythat will involve about 20 refractory breast cancer patients. The trialwill evaluate the safety and optimum dose of the Bispecific antibody,MDX-210, in combination with G-CSF. Preclinical studiesdemonstrated that G-CSF induced neutrophils contain high levels ofthe receptor where MDX-210 attaches to the immune system killercells."We believe it is a synergistic product," Michael Appelbaum, seniorvice president, finance and administration for Medarex, told BioWorld."(G-CSF) activates neutrophils, and causes them to express theFcGAMMASYMBOLRI receptor. We're able therefore to accessanother body of white blood cells that we were not heretofore able toaccess."By bringing these additional white cells into the killing process, to eatcancer cells, we believe our therapeutics may become even moreeffective."MDX-210 already is in Phase II trials for breast and ovarian cancers,and another Bispecific antibody, MDX-240, is in a Phase I trial inBelgium for HIV. That product combines two monoclonal antibodies,one that targets and binds to a protein expressed on HIV and HIV-infected cells, and a trigger antibody that binds to a receptor onimmune cells. The trigger antibody binds to the receptor and the targetcell at the same time, triggering the receptor.Medarex (NASDAQ:MEDX) stock closed at $5.13 Thursday, up 25cents per share. _ Jim Shrine
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