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ANIMAL DATA ON VESTAR'S DAUNOXOME SUPPORT EMERGING CLINICAL PROFILE AGAINST CANCER

ANIMAL DATA ON VESTAR'S DAUNOXOME SUPPORT EMERGING CLINICAL PROFILE AGAINST
    CANCER
    SAN DIMAS, Calif., June 15 /PRNewswire/ -- A series of animal experiments have demonstrated that DaunoXome(tm), Vestar's patented (NASDAQ: VSTR)  liposmal formulation of the established cancer drug daunorubicin, produces a nearly 10-fold increase in the amount of drug accumulated in tumors, resulting in 10 times greater potency compared with the  unencapsulated form of the drug.  The preclinical results, published in the June 15, 1992 issue of the peer-reviewed scientific journal Cancer Research, substantiate the emerging clinical data from Phase I/II trials of DaunoXome against solid tumors and Kaposi's sarcoma.
    "In our clinical trials of DaunoXome against AIDS-related Kaposi's sarcoma, we are witnessing a significant efficacy rate with a very low incidence of side effects," said Dr. Roger J. Crossley, Vestar president and chief executive officer.  "These animal studies provide the pharmacokinetic rationale for such clinical performance, by showing the relationship between the amount of drug delivered into the tumor and the potency of that drug against tumors.  Although we recognize that animal efficacy data do not directly predict human results, any cancer therapeutic that demonstrates 10 times greater potency is very exciting. We believe that the ability of DaunoXome to target daunorubicin selectively into tumors will translate into major therapeutic advantanges for the patient," he said.
    The study compared the use of either DaunoXome or free daunorubicin against lymphatic tumors and breast tumors in mice.  Among the results researchers found was a 100 percent long-term survival rate with DaunoXome, compared to only a 40 percent rate found with the free form of daunorubicin in the breast tumor model.  Moreover, the DaunoXome formulation was highly stable, and could be used in the higher dosages without toxicity.
        "The prolonged survival times and greater tumor growth inhibition indicate that the entrapped drug remains bioavailable and active," said Dr. Eric Forssen, Vestar's associate director of pharmaceutics and the lead author of the study.  "We've shown that DaunoXome not only increases the absolute amount of daunorubicin delivered to solid tumors, but can also increase tumor selectivity relative to normal tissues.  These results suggest a broad therapeutic potential for our liposomal delivery system."
    Clinical data were recently published in the Proceedings of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, confirming the potential of DaunoXome as an effective and well-tolerated treatment for AIDS-related Kaposi's sarcoma, as well as being well-tolerated in patients with solid tumors.
    Vestar, headquartered in San Dimas, develops, manufactures and markets pharmaceuticals to treat patients with cancer and serious infections, including AIDS.  Among the company's proprietary drug delivery technologies are liposomes to encapsulate pharmaceuticals, and lipid prodrug technology for the development of orally active compounds. Since 1989, Vestar has been marketing in Europe AmBisome(R), a liposomal formulation of amphotericin B, to treat systemic fungal infections. DaunoXome, a liposomal formulation of the chemotherapeutic agent daunorubicin, is in development as Vestar's second major product.
    -0-             06/15/92
    CONTACT:  Dr. Paul Schmidt, executive vice president, research and development, Vestar, Inc., 714-394-4000, or Marcia Kean of Feinstein Partners, 617-577-8110, for Vestar
    (VSTR) CO:  VESTAR, INC. IN:  MTC ST:  MA -- NE007 -- X428  06/15/92
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Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 15, 1992
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