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AGOURON PHARMACEUTICALS EXPANDS CLINICAL TESTING OF SECOND CANCER DRUG INTO UNITED STATES

 LA JOLLA, Calif., Jan. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Agouron Pharmaceuticals Inc., (NASDAQ-NMS: AGPH) announced today it has been cleared by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to commence clinical studies of its anti-cancer drug AG-337 in the United States.
 Since November 1992, AG-337 has been the subject of clinical trials in England, sponsored by the Cancer Research Campaign. Under an Investigational New Drug Application (IND) filed with FDA in December 1993, Agouron will now proceed to conduct clinical studies of the intravenous formulation of AG-337 in the United States. The company intends first to complete a short confirmatory phase Ib study verifying the optimal dose and schedule of administration of AG-337 established in the British studies of the compound. Completion of this initial U.S. study will position Agouron to investigate the anti-tumor efficacy of AG-337 against several forms of cancer in concurrent phase II studies at clinical sites in the United States and England.
 AG-337 is an inhibitor of thymidylate synthase (TS), an enzyme which must be active to sustain the rapid proliferation of cancer cells. AG-337 becomes the second TS inhibitor designed by Agouron scientists to enter clinical development in the United States for treatment of cancer. Clinical investigators at the University of Southern California and at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia are presently conducting phase Ib studies of another Agouron TS inhibitor designated AG-331. Though AG-331 and AG-337 are both potent inhibitors of TS, the two compounds have completely different chemical structures and pharmacological properties.
 Agouron Pharmaceuticals Inc. is a pioneer and leader in a technology for the rational design of novel synthetic drugs based upon the molecular structures of proteins which play key roles in human disease. Agouron is currently applying this technology to the design and development of drugs for treatment of cancer, AIDS and other serious diseases.
 -0- 1/11/94
 /CONTACT: Peter Johnson, president and CEO, or Donna Nichols, director, Corporate Communications of Agouron Pharmaceuticals, 619-622-3009/
 (AGPH)


CO: Agouron Pharmaceuticals Inc. ST: California IN: MTC SU: PDT

JM-JB -- SD002 -- 0824 01/11/94 08:02 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 11, 1994
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