A recent in vitro study of Seragen's epidermal growth factor(EGF) receptor-targeted fusion toxin, DAB389EGF (389),suggested that it may inhibit proliferating smooth muscle cells(SMC) in restenosis. Restenosis is the premature re-narrowingof blood vessels in cardiac patients after they have undergoneangioplasty to widen constricted vessels. The results werereported Tuesday at the American Heart Association's 65thScientific Sessions in New Orleans.

Investigators studied 389's effect on vascular SMCs andrestenotic plaque taken from human restenosis patients andgrown in tissue culture. Extensive animal and human tests willbe required to prove whether or not the EGF toxin will havetherapeutic value in treating restenosis.

Fusion toxins such as 389 consist of toxin fragments geneticallyfused to a hormone or growth factor, which targets specific cellsurface receptors on disease-causing cells.

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