Genetic Therapy Inc. said Thursday that it has treated the firstpatient in a Phase I/II trial using genetic therapy to treatmalignant brain tumors. Fifteen to 30 refractory patients willreceive injections of cells that produce genetically altered vectorsfollowing surgical resection of the tumor. The trial is an expansion of aprotocol begun in December 1992 at the National Institutes ofHealth, which involved mostly surgically inaccessible tumors.The new trial is the first involving GTI's new HS-tk (herpessimplex-thymidine kinase gene) product, Marc Schneebaum, chieffinancial officer of GTI, told BioWorld. GTI, of Gaithersburg, Md.,is working on the HS-tk brain cancer product in collaborationwith Sandoz Pharma Ltd. of Switzerland. Last month GTI announcedthe agreement that involved an up-front payment of $6 million andpotential milestone payments of $12 million. _ Jim Shrine
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