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ANGIOTECH ANNOUNCES PSORIASIS GEL DETERMINED TO BE SAFE.

Angiotech Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ANPI;TSE:ANP), Vancouver, British Columbia, has reported the results of two Phase 1 clinical studies of its Topical Paclitaxel Gel formulation for the treatment of psoriasis. The clinical studies, one conducted at Harvard University and the other at the University of British Columbia, were designed to determine safety and tolerability of the drug applied topically in a small number of patients (20 patients per study).

In both studies, the Topical Paclitaxel Gel was demonstrated to be safe and well-tolerated when applied once or twice daily to either normal or psoriatic skin. Even when applied to large areas (20% of the body area), the gel did not result in systemic toxicity (no clinically significant hematological abnormalities or other systemic adverse effects), as the drug was not absorbed into the bloodstream.

The company will seek to partner with a dermatological company to develop the program further.

"Advancing the topical treatment beyond Phase 1 will require the expertise of a dermatological partner who can provide guidance on formulation and clinical development," said William L. Hunter, MD, MSc, Angiotech's chairman and CEO.

The company will develop a systemic Micellar Paclitaxel treatment for severe psoriasis in-house. Angiotech plans to initiate clinical studies in association with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) using monthly injections of Micellar Paclitaxel in patients with severe psoriasis. This study is scheduled to begin in calendar Q1, 2001. "Methotrexate and Cyclosporin have demonstrated efficacy in this patient population, but their associated toxicities are of concern to the patients and their dermatologists. We hope that our Micellar Paclitaxel formulation could produce clinical efficacy with a superior side effect profile," said Donald E. Longenecker, PhD, Angiotech's President and COO.

Psoriasis is a common, chronic inflammatory skin disease characterized by red, scaly plaques, affecting up to 3% of the U.S. population. At present, there is no cure for psoriasis. Poor remission rates and/or potentially serious side effects characterize current treatments. The overall cost of treating psoriasis in the U.S. is estimated at between $3 to $5 billion per year, making the disease a major health care problem.

Angiotech Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a Canadian pharmaceutical company dedicated to the development of medical device coatings and treatments for chronic inflammatory diseases through reformulation of the anticancer drug, paclitaxel. Three pharmaceutical therapies are in clinical development: systemic Micellar Paclitaxel for secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (Phase 2), systemic Micellar Paclitaxel for rheumatoid arthritis (Phase 1) and Topical Paclitaxel Gel for psoriasis (Phase 1/2). In January 2000, the paclitaxel-coated coronary stent program also entered human studies. Other medical device programs include paclitaxel-loaded surgical implants for the treatment of restenosis associated with peripheral vascular surgery and for the treatment of proliferative ocular conditions.

For more information, call (604)221-7676 or visit http://www.angiotech.com.
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Publication:Worldwide Biotech
Date:Oct 1, 2000
Words:463
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