ImmunoGen Inc. on Monday announced the start of multicenterPhase I/II trials of Oncolysin B to treat children with B-celllineage acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) or lymphoma.

The trials are being conducted under an investigational newdrug application filed by the National Cancer Institute. Childrenwho have relapsed following prior therapy, such aschemotherapy and bone marrow transplants, are eligible.

About 1,900 cases of ALL in children are diagnosed in theUnited States each year. More than 75 percent are cured withconventional treatment. Of those who relapse, 30 percent to 40percent can be cured with bone marrow transplants.

Oncolysin B links a monoclonal antibody to blocked ricin, thecompany's proprietary form of the plant toxin ricin.

The Cambridge, Mass., company (NASDAQ:IMGN) is continuing asimilar trial, which it began in 1990. The company's shares lost25 cents to $14 on Monday. -- KB

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