Cel-Sci Corp. said Tuesday it has begun Phase II clinical trialsof its BC-IL cancer drug in head and neck cancer patients whohave failed surgical and radiation treatment.

BC-IL is a cocktail of 12 natural lymphokines, includinginterleukin-1 (IL-1), interleukin-2 (IL-2) and gammainterferon. The drug is designed to stimulate the immunesystem.

The Alexandria, Va.-based company is competing withcompanies producing recombinant IL-2, such as Cetus Corp. andImmunex Corp., said Geert Kersten, Cel-Sci's vice president ofoperations.

Cel-Sci said it believes that a cocktail of natural lymphokineswill prove superior to single recombinant lymphokines. "Whyfield a team composed only of quarterbacks?" asked Kersten."The body doesn't do it that way."

Kersten said Cel-Sci's cocktail can be administered in farlower doses than IL-2 alone, thereby reducing toxicity.

Cel-Sci stock (NASDAQ:CELI) closed Tuesday at $1.31, up 3cents. -- KB

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