Matrix Pharmaceutical Inc. reported data from ongoing studiesof its implant products for site-specific delivery ofchemotherapeutic drugs at two separate scientific conferenceslast week.

Data from preclinical animal studies on the ability of Matrix'stechnology to sustain drug distribution within a targeted sitewere presented Friday at the annual meeting of the AmericanAssociation for Cancer Research (AACR) in Orlando, Fla. AndPhase II clinical trial data on Matrix's MPI 5003 (5-fluorouracil-containing implant) for treating genital warts werepresented Thursday at the Clinical Dermatology in the Year2000 meeting in Vienna, Austria.

In one of the preclinical studies presented at AACR, theresearchers analyzed the retention and distribution of thecompound MPI 5010 (a therapeutic implant consisting of abiodegradable protein matrix, a chemical modifier andcisplatin) in solid liver tumors in rabbits. They found that highconcentrations of platinum (50-400 micrograms per gram)were well-distributed throughout the tumor and sustained forat least 24 hours. As well, platinum was effectively localized tothe tumor with only trace levels of the drug detected inadjacent tissue, kidney or blood.

In a separate study in rats with prostate tumors, theinvestigators found that both 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) andmethotrexate (MTX) were better retained in the target tissuewhen delivered via Matrix's implant technology than whendelivered as free drugs. Thirty minutes after direct prostateinjection, 62 percent of the 5-FU was retained if delivered viaimplant compared to 8 percent when delivered as free drug;for MTX, the values were 76 percent and 44 percent,respectively.

As well, Matrix scientists presented data at the AACR meetingon the ability of its therapeutic implants -- containing 5-FU orcisplatin -- for treating spontaneous feline squamous cellcarcinoma. They found that 86 percent of the lesions treatedwith cisplatin implants and 58 percent treated with 5-FUdemonstrated complete response -- clearance of lesions.

Matrix of Menlo Park, Calif., is currently conducting Phase I/IIclinical trials of its compound MPI 5010 in patients with livercancer, and Phase I/IIs of 5-FU and MTX-containing productsin patients with prostate cancer and head and neck cancer.

The Phase II data on MPI 5003 for treating genital wartsreported at the Vienna meeting indicated that this therapeuticimplant is capable of releasing 5-FU for extended periods oftime. This analysis focused on data from 187 evaluable patientsof the 200 enrolled in one of two separate placebo-controlleddouble blind trials. Overall, 61 percent of the patients who hadcomplete clearing of all genital warts remained disease-free forthree months. The treatments were well-tolerated and therewere no systemic side effects.

Matrix (NASDAQ:MATX) expects to begin Phase III clinicals inthe near future, according to Andrew Korey, vice president ofmedical and regulatory affairs.

The company's stock was up 75 cents a share on Friday, closingat $10.25.

-- Jennifer Van Brunt Senior Editor

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

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