The results of Seragen Inc.'s Phase I/II clinical trial on itsreceptor-targeted interleukin-2 fusion protein for treatingrheumatoid arthritis were published in the September issue ofArthritis and Rheumatism, the journal of the American Collegeof Rheumatology.

Seragen of Hopkinton, Mass., said the dose-escalation trial ofDAB486IL-2 was performed on rheumatoid arthritis patientswho were no longer responsive to conventional therapeuticagents, including methotrexate.

Of the 19 patients studied in the trial, nine exhibited "clinicallymeaningful improvement" in their condition, according to leadauthor Kathryn Lea Sewell, an associate physician at Boston'sBeth Israel Hospital.

Subsequently, Seragen (NASDAQ:SRGN) has conducted a 45-patient Phase II, double-blind, placebo-controlled study ofDAB486IL-2 in a similar patient population. Data from thattrial were reported in early May at the jointly sponsoredAnnual Meeting of the Association of American Physicians, theAmerican Society of Clinical Investigation and the AmericanFederation for Clinical Research.

"Based on the encouraging results of both these studies, wehave undertaken additional protocols to test our second IL-2fusion toxin, DAB389IL-2, in severely ill rheumatoid arthritispatients," said Thasia Woodworth, Seragen's vice president forclinical affairs.

Seragen expects to evaluate data from three separate trialsover the next several months.

-- Jennifer Van Brunt Senior Editor

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