CytRx Corp. and the Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute in Australiawill collaborate to evaluate CytRx's CRL-1336 in treating drug-resistant cancer, and in a multinational Phase II trial of the agent intreating breast cancer.The Phase II efficacy study is expected to be held at two sites in theU.S. and at the Cancer Institute, in the third and fourth quarters,respectively, and include 45 evaluable patients, John Flax, CytRx'svice president of clinical development and regulatory affairs, toldBioWorld. He said the agent has a membrane effect that probablyinhibits the activity of certain membrane-bound proteins."It's the beginning of an ongoing relationship," Flax said of the dealwith Australia's largest cancer research and treatment facility. "They'reexperienced with preclinical and clinical issues related to drugdevelopment in multidrug-resistant cancer. We need to collaborate withclinical sites and individuals who have that experience because it's anew area for us, clinically."CytRx, of Norcross, Ga., will run the U.S. portion of the trial andmonitor the Australian end. Flax said a Phase I study of the agent inacute leukemia is expected to start in July, and the company also planstrials on multiple myeloma.Multiple-drug resistance involves cancer patients on chemotherapywho develop resistance to anti-cancer drugs, resulting from the actionof a cell membrane protein that pumps chemotherapeutic agents fromcancer cells. CRL-1336 acts on tumor cell membranes to block thepump activity, CytRx said. _ Jim Shrine
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