AntiCancer Inc. has acquired exclusive worldwide rights toanti-metastasis genes, initially AGZY-1 and AGZY-2, from theHarbin Medical University in the People's Republic of Chinaunder a licensing agreement announced last week.

AntiCancer's president, Robert Hoffman, said the agreementcovers candidate and future anti-metastasis genes isolatedfrom variants of the human lung adenocarcinoma, as well asvectors and clinical trial data. Harbin will receive royalties onany future therapy that is developed. Other terms of theagreement were not disclosed.

Harbin has conducted studies of tumor infiltrating lymphocyte(TIL) cells transfected with interleukin-2 (IL-2) in advancedlung cancer patients. The results of a trial of 10 patients withmalignant pleural effusions due to advanced lung cancer werepresented by AntiCancer at the International Conference onGene Therapy of Cancer in San Diego on Thursday.

TIL cells transfected by IL-2 were injected into the patients'pleural cavity, followed with 10,000 IL-2 IU per day for oneweek. The protocol was repeated two weeks later. AntiCancerreported that pleural effusions completely resolved in sixpatients, two patients had a partial response and two patientsshowed no improvement.

Several companies are working on IL-2-based cancer therapy.Steven Rosenberg of the National Cancer Institute conducted astudy of advanced cancer patients treated withcyclophosphamide, IL-2 and TILs. He is also conducting a studyof cancer patients immunized with autologous cancer cellsmodified to contain the gene for IL-2 and a study treatingadvanced cancer patients with TILs transduced with the genecoding for tumor necrosis factor.

Founded in 1984, AntiCancer's first product in preclinicals isAC9301, an enzyme that cleaves the circulating amino acidmethionine, which is required by many tumors for growth.AntiCancer of San Diego received a Phase I small businessinnovation research grant from NCI in March to support studiesto identify tumors susceptible to AC9301. It also received asecond Phase I SBIR for studies of its animal model of humancancer.

-- Brenda Sandburg News Editor

(c) 1997 American Health Consultants. All rights reserved.