ImClone Systems Inc. said Wednesday it has secured the rights toRhone-Poulenc Rorer's pending patents for using epidermal growthfactor receptor (EGFr) monoclonal antibodies in combination withFDA-approved chemotherapeutic agents for treatment of cancer.The patents would cover use of the anti-EGFr antibodies withchemotherapeutic agents, such as doxorubicin and cisplatin.Andrea Rabney, ImClone's director of investor relations, said terms ofthe licensing agreement are confidential, but that it is aimed at boostingImClone's efforts to develop its anti-EGFr antibody, called C225.According to the company, EGFr can be "highly over-expressed" onthe surface of squamous, breast, ovarian, colorectal and lung cancercells. It is believed that antibodies directed against EGFr may inhibituncontrolled cancer cell growth.By securing rights to Rhone-Poulenc's pending patents, Rabney saidImClone, of New York, intends to develop the use of C225 inassociation with chemotherapy treatments.Rabney said the preclinical trials have shown that the combination ofanti-EGFr antibodies and chemotherapy kills cancerous cells inanimals.She added that ImClone expects to file an investigational new drugapplication with the FDA in September or October to begin clinicaltrials for C225. The company hasn't decided on a specific cancer totarget, she said, but it's considering either non-small cell lung cancer orhead and neck cancers. _ Charles Craig
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