DepoTech Corp. was to present today Phase I trial data showingthat its encapsulated chemotherapeutic led to clearing ofmalignant cells from the cerebrospinal fluid in seven patientswith malignant meningitis.

The results, using Depofoam-encapsulated Ara-C cytarabine,were to be reported at the American Society of ClinicalOncology meeting in San Diego by Dr. Sinil Kim, researchdirector and co-founder of DepoTech.

The trial involved 12 patients whose primary cancers hadmetastasized to the meninges, the tissue envelope surroundingthe brain and spinal cord. The compound was administered indoses ranging from 12.5 mg. to 125 mg. Seven of the ninepatients who could be evaluated, or 78 percent, cleared allmalignant cells from the cerebrospinal fluid.

DepoFoam is composed of small lipid particles containinghundreds of internal chambers, much like the spaces in asponge. The water-filled chambers are separated by a singlebi-layer lipid membrane. Water-soluble drugs may bedissolved in the chambers for sustained release when injectedinto the body.

The privately held San Diego company said that encapsulationof Ara-C increased its half-life in the cerebrospinal fluid bymore than 40-fold compared with the unencapsulatedchemotherapeutic. -- KB

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