Matrix Pharmaceutical Inc. has begun Phase I/II trials of itsMPI 5011 Therapeutic Implant product in patients withprostate cancer, the company said Monday.

Therapeutic Implants are composed of a biodegradable proteinmatrix, a chemotherapeutic agent and a chemical modifier thatacts as a "chemical tourniquet" to hold the drug within thediseased tissue. MPI 5011 contains the chemotherapeuticflourouracil.

The Menlo Park, Calif., company (NASDAQ:MATX) plans to beginthis quarter Phase I/II trials of MPI 5003 for Kaposi's sarcoma.

In January, Matrix raised $52.5 million in an initial publicoffering of 3.5 million shares. The stock closed Monday at$12.75, up 50 cents.

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