Seragen Inc. has begun enrolling patients in a pilot study ofinterleukin-2 (IL-2) receptor-targeted fusion toxin, DAB389IL-2, for treatment of psoriasis; two patients have alreadycompleted one course of treatment.

The trial will involve 10 patients who have plaque-type lesionsover more than 10 percent of their body surface and who arenot candidates for topical therapy. They will receive twocourses of IL-2 fusion toxin administered intravenously forfive consecutive days, followed by three weeks of observationfor each course.

Seragen, of Hopkinton, Mass., filed an investigational new drug(IND) application for DAB389IL-2 in July. The compoundtargets the IL-2 receptor known to be expressed bylymphocytes that are activated by psoriasis. Previous anti-psoriatic compounds to enter clinicals, all topical formulations,targeted various factors involved in proliferative processes. Allbut one of these compounds, BioCryst Pharmaceuticals Inc.'sBCX-34, was pulled from clinical development due to marginalefficacy. Those pulled from development include two ChemexPharmaceuticals Inc. compounds (TCV-309 and Methotrezate),Agouron Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s AG-85 and SphinxPharmaceuticals Corp.'s Kynac.

Seragen (NASDAQ:SRGN) president Richard Svrluga commented:"We are deliberately conducting this as a pilot study. By theend of the year, data from the study should enable us toevaluate the advisability of pursuing the investigation of IL-2Fusion Toxin as a potential treatment for psoriasis."

-- Brenda Sandburg News Editor

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