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AGOURON SUSPENDS DEVELOPMENT OF PSORIASIS AGENT

 SAN DIEGO, July 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Agouron Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ-NMS: AGPH) today announced that it has suspended development of the compound AG-85 as a topical anti-psoriatic agent because preliminary analysis of a second pilot clinical study of the compound failed to provide convincing evidence of its efficacy.
 In the study conducted recently at two clinical sites, psoriatic lesions on 22 patients were treated for six weeks with a 1.25 percent cream formulation of AG-85 and, as a control, with the cream vehicle alone. A preliminary analysis of the results of this study concludes that the extent of improvement of lesions treated by the AG-85 cream was not significantly superior to that of lesions treated by the cream vehicle alone. Similar results were seen in an earlier clinical study of a 0.1 percent AG-85 liquid formulation.
 "Further work on AG-85 by others may yet render it a useful product in dermatology, but Agouron must devote its internal resources to compounds with more tangible potential for being developed successfully," said Peter Johnson, the company's president and chief executive officer. "We have therefore elected to concentrate our near- term clinical development efforts on Agouron's anti-cancer compounds."
 AG-85 inhibits the enzyme thymidylate synthase (TS) known to be required for the hyperproliferation of human cells. Agouron is currently conducting phase I clinical studies of two chemically unrelated TS inhibitors, AG-331 and AG-337, as agents for treatment of solid tumors.
 "We do not believe that disappointing results from clinical studies of AG-85 in psoriasis raise any new questions concerning the usefulness of TS inhibitors in cancer," said Robert C. Jackson, Ph.D., Agouron's vice president, research and development. "While it is too early in the clinical evaluation of AG-331 and AG-337 to draw any conclusions concerning their efficacy, we know from the performance of other compounds that pure TS inhibitors are capable of producing anti-tumor effects in humans. We did not have the advantage of that kind of advance knowledge in the case of AG-85, since no clinical studies of the anti-psoriatic activity of pure TS inhibitors had previously been reported."
 Agouron Pharmaceuticals Inc. is a pioneer and leader of a technology permitting 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-
 7/7/93
 /CONTACT: Peter Johnson, president & CEO, or Donna Nichols, director of corporate communications, of Agouron Pharmaceuticals, 619-622-3009/
 (AGPH)


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

JL-MF -- SD002 -- 8934 07/07/93 08:55 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 7, 1993
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