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FDA'S ONCOLOGY ADVISORY COMMITTEE REVIEWS CLINICAL DATA ON VESTAR'S DAUNOXOME FOR TREATMENT OF KAPOSI'S SARCOMA

 WASHINGTON, June 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Vestar, Inc. (NASDAQ: VSTR) today announced that the Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee of the Food and Drug Administration has reviewed its summary of safety and efficacy data on DaunoXome(R) in the treatment of patients with advanced HIV- associated Kaposi's sarcoma for whom conventional chemotherapy has failed or has been contraindicated. The committee voted not to recommend approval of the drug at this time. DaunoXome is Vestar's liposomal formulation of the anti-cancer drug daunorubicin.
 "It is clear from the committee's extensive deliberations how difficult it is to evaluate the effects of therapy in this disease, and while we are obviously disappointed by the outcome of the meeting today, we believe their review was affected by apparent discrepancies in the analysis of the data. We are very surprised that we were not made aware of these discrepancies until they were presented by FDA at the meeting. We look forward to further discussions with FDA, in which we believe these issues can be rapidly resolved to everyone's satisfaction. The company will continue to work as closely as possible with the agency on all issues," said Roger J. Crossley, M.D., Vestar's chairman, president and CEO.
 DaunoXome is comprised of daunorubicin, an anthracycline drug, encapsulated inside microscopic spheres known as liposomes, with walls similar to those of cell membranes. Once entrapped inside the liposomes, DaunoXome is selectively taken up by cancer cells, resulting in a 10-fold increase in the amount of active drug accumulated in the tumors. The selective killing of cancer cells by DaunoXome is not accompanied by an increase of drug in normal cells, and therefore may lead to increased clinical benefit without an increase in toxicity.
 Kaposi's sarcoma is the most common of the cancers that afflict AIDS patients, causing a wide spectrum of serious and debilitating symptoms. It is characterized by lesions of the skin, mucous membranes and lymph nodes, and often progresses rapidly to internal organs, including the lungs and gastrointestinal tract. The disease affects an estimated 15 percent or more of AIDS patients.
 Vestar, headquartered in San Dimas, Calif., develops, manufactures and markets pharmaceuticals to treat patients with cancer and serious infections, including AIDS. Since 1989, Vestar has been marketing in Europe AmBisome(R), a liposomal formulation of amphotericin B, to treat systemic fungal infections. DaunoXome, Vestar's second major product, received Orphan Drug status from the FDA in May 1993. MiKasome, a liposomal formulation of the antibiotic amikacin, is currently in preclinical trials for potential use against drug-resistant tuberculosis. Among the company's proprietary drug delivery technologies are liposomes to encapsulate pharmaceuticals, and lipid prodrug technology for the development of orally active compounds.
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 /CONTACT: Michael E. Hart, chief financial officer, Vestar, Inc., 909-394-4000; or Marcia A. Kean, executive vice president, Feinstein Partners Inc., 617-577-8110, for Vestar, Inc./
 (VST)


CO: Vestar, Inc. ST: California IN: MTC SU:

CM -- NE007 -- 3199 06/17/93 14:59 EDT
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Date:Jun 17, 1993
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