Following are highlights of company presentations from thisweek's American Heart Association meeting in Anaheim, Calif.
Centocor Inc. (NASDAQ:CNTO)
The company presented data showing that its 7E3 anti-plateletmonoclonal antibody, called CentoRx, appears to preventcomplications seen with therapies for heart attacks.
The antibody, which attaches to receptors on the surface ofplatelets and thereby prevents their aggregation into clots,performed well and with minimal side effects in patients whohad received balloon angioplasty or the clot-dissolving tissueplasminogen activator (t-PA).
In the preliminary safety and efficacy trial, an infusion of theantibody prior to angioplasty in 16 patients produced only twoincidents of bleeding problems, neither of which requiredtransfusions. Lab tests showed that the antibody effectivelyinhibited platelet function.
In the preliminary results of the TAMI-8 clinical trial of theantibody, CentoRx was given to 32 patients, with 10 moreserving as controls. None of the patients treated with t-PA fortheir heart attacks died, and only one repeat infarctionoccurred in the group that got the lowest dosage.
The reinfarction rate was below the expected 10 percent to 20percent usually seen in heart attack victims.
CentoRx is in Phase III trials in angioplasty and in Phase IItesting in heart attack and unstable angina. -- RF
Biogen Inc. (NASDAQ:BGEN)
Research on Biogen's Hirulog, designed from a protein found inleech saliva, shows that in patients undergoing balloonangioplasty to re-open clogged coronary arteries, the drug canconsistently keep blood free from clots.
Hirulog blocks the action of thrombin, a clot-forming enzymethat circulates in blood and also blocks the enzyme when it isbound within a clot.
Preliminary clinical trial data on 12 patients showed thatHirulog performed in place of the standard anti-coagulant,heparin, with the only side effect being nausea. -- RF
Gensia Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:GNSA)
Company scientists presented data on Arasine showing that ithas an effect on platelet aggregation, a potential newapplication for the drug.
In a dog model, Arasine prolonged the time to reocclusion afterthrombolytic therapy, indicating that it may preventreocclusion in humans.
Arasine is in Phase III trials to prevent tissue injury inpatients undergoing coronary artery bypass surgery. Animaldata presented in support of these trials also indicated thatArasine may prevent reperfusion injury, said company co-founder Paul Laikind. -- KB
Glycomed Inc. (NASDAQ:GLYC)
In a rat study, Glycomed's anti-restenotic compound showed asignificant inhibition of restenosis, or partial reclosing of bloodvessels, following angioplasty.
The GM1077 product is a chemically modified complexcarbohydrate being developed to prevent the uncontrolledproliferation of smooth muscle cells in a blood vessel followingangioplasty.
GM1077 inhibited proliferation of the cells in rats by morethan 85 percent, according to data presented Thursday at theConference on New Frontiers in Cardiovascular Therapeutics inAnaheim, which followed the AHA meeting. Eli Lilly & Co.,Glycomed's collaborator, has confirmed the drug's activity inrabbits.
Heparin, from which GM1077 is derived, has about 12 or 14pharmacological effects, said Alan Timms, company President.But GM1077 lacks heparin's anti-coagulant sequences, headded, making it at least 10 times safer than heparin. -- KB
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