Researchers have demonstrated that RMP-7, Alkermes Inc.'s drugdelivery agent, selectively increased permeability of the blood-brainbarrier in animals with brain tumors or radiation injury in the brain.In two separate studies, the effect of permeability of RMP-7 wasmeasured throughout different brain regions and found to be significantin the areas of the blood-brain barrier associated with abnormal braintissue.Results were presented by researchers from the University ofCalifornia, San Francisco (UCSF), and the University of California,Los Angeles (UCLA) at this week's meeting in San Diego of TheAmerican Association of Neurological Surgeons.Donna LaVoie, director of corporate communications for theCambridge, Mass., company, told BioWorld the preclinicalexperiments support three ongoing clinical trials of RMP-7 incombination with carboplatin, a chemotherapeutic agent, for thetreatment of brain tumor. Two of the trials, including one in the UK,are administering the agent intravenously. In the other, it is beingadministered intra-arterially.In one of the preclinical studies, researchers at the UCSF Brain TumorResearch Center tested the effects of RMP-7 administeredintravenously in an animal model of radiation injury to the brain.Permeability changes were calculated using a tracer molecule and brainimaging techniques.In a second series of studies, researchers at UCLA and Alkermes testedthe effects of RMP-7 administered intra-arterially in an animal modelof a brain tumor. Permeability changes were measured by trackinguptake of radioactively labeled molecules, including chemotherapeuticagents."This is the first time (the collaborators) were able to show RMP-7selectively opened the blood-brain barrier," LaVoie said. "This is verybig news for the company."

-- Jim Shrine

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