Positive Phase I results in cancer patients treated with SeragenInc.'s interleukin-2 fusion toxin have been reported in thecurrent issue of Blood.
Four of 18 patients in the trial experienced a significantreduction in tumor size. All of the patients had leukemias andlymphomas expressing the IL-2 receptor. Each patient hadpreviously received an average of five different therapies priorto enrolling in the trial. Seragen (NASDAQ:SRGN) estimates that50 percent of all leukemias and lymphomas express the IL-2receptor.
One of the four responding patients had a complete response,defined as no evidence of disease for more than four weeks,and has been in remission for 22 months. Two patients hadpartial responses, or at least a 50 percent reduction in tumorburden for more than four weeks. One had a minor response ofa decrease in tumor burden by between 25 percent and 50percent.
The drug is now in Phase II trials. The Hopkinton, Mass.,company's fusion toxins consist of diphtheria toxin fragmentsgenetically fused with a hormone or growth factor that targetsspecific cell surface receptors on disease-causing cells.
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