ImmunoGen Inc. started Phase I clinical trials on Oncolysin CD6,its immunotoxin for treating T-cell related diseases.

The study is initially being conducted in patients withcutaneous T-cell lymphoma to determine the compound'ssafety profile as well as provide some indication of the drug'sability to kill CD6+ T cells, which have been shown to play asignificant role in immune response.

"For example, it has been shown that elimination of CD6+ T cellsfrom donated bone marrow prevents graft vs. host disease,"explained Carol Epstein, ImmunoGen's vice president and chiefmedical officer.

"Other studies using anti-CD6 antibodies alone (ImmunoGenchemically links its anti-CD6 antibody to blocked ricin, a potenttoxin) have demonstrated that these antibodies can preventkidney rejection in a small but significant percentage of kidneytransplant patients," she added.

In fact, the Cambridge, Mass., company (NASDAQ:IMGN) intendsto eventually expand its initial Phase I trial of Oncolysin CD6 inpatients with cutaneous T-cell lymphoma to include kidneytransplant patients. -- Jennifer Van Brunt

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