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 /ADVANCE/SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Biomira Inc. (NASDAQ: BIOMF; Toronto, Montreal: BRA) Biomira's senior vice president, Research, B. Michael Longenecker Ph.D., today presented preliminary observations on Biomira's Canadian Phase I and Phase II clinical trials testing THERATOPE(R) STn-KLH, a cancer therapeutic vaccine, at the First International Conference on Engineered Vaccines for Cancer and AIDS in San Francisco.
 A total of 84 patients are now enrolled in Phase II studies in Canada and the United Kingdom. Total Enrollment will reach 269 patients, including 45 breast cancer patients in the United States. Biomira announced yesterday that the U.S. Food & Drug Administration has completed its review of the Investigational New Drug (IND) application for its first clinical trial in the United States. A breast cancer clinical trial is set to begin at the University of Southern California/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center -- Los Angeles.
 A review of the early data on a small number of patients evaluated to date (7) in the Canadian Phase II breast cancer clinical trial using THERATOPE(R) STn-KLH shows 71 percent or five patients showing stable disease (no evidence of progression of disease for a minimum of three months from the start of treatment). As reported earlier, 10 of 13 patients from the Canadian Phase I safety study, or 77 percent, showed non-progressive disease. Six showed stable disease, two showed partial response (greater than 50 percent reduction in the size of measurable disease), and two showed a mixed response (reduction of some measurable tumors, but in the presence of either new tumors, or the presence of an increase in the size of some pre-existing tumors by more than 25 percent). An update on the seven surviving Phase I patients shows that three remain stable and have reached encouraging survival duration, two on THERATOPE(R) STn-KLH booster injections only -- 22 and 13 months, and one on chemotheraphy at 25 months. The median survival of 19.5 months for all 13 patients compares favorably to published median survivals of 11.3 months to 19.4 months for patients receiving first line chemotherapy and 10.9 months for those receiving second line chemotherapy.
 Preliminary review of the patients on the Canadian Phase II colon cancer study shows that 7 of the 22 (32 percent) evaluated patients with metastatic colon cancer have had stable disease for a minimum of three months after the onset of treatment with THERATOPE(R) STn-KLH.
 Of the 16 patients evaluated with pancreatic cancer, a particularly lethal form of cancer, two, from this Canadian Phase II clinical trial, have had stable disease for three months, with one still stable at over 9 months.
 Dr. Longenecker stressed that these are early observations. "Although these observations are encouraging, especially when THERATOPE(R) STn-KLH is being tested as a single agent therapy in metastatic disease, the results provide us with data that is sufficient only to validate our decision to continue with the trials of our compound in the treatment of selected lethal cancers."
 "When looking at a quality of life/efficacy index, the THERATOPE(R) STn-KLH compound looks promising, particularly because it shows some evidence of efficacy in these relatively late stage cancer patients who often show little response to conventional therapeutics," said Alex McPherson, M.D., PhD., president and chief executive officer of Biomira. "These early results are encouraging. We see an indication of clinical effect with a compound which is essentially non-toxic and has excellent patient acceptability. Functional ability of the patients is not impaired, and most patients claim they can enjoy a normal life-style while on treatment," concluded McPherson.
 Biomira Inc. is a Canadian biotechnology company dedicated to the development of products to diagnose and treat cancer. It is refining its technology in the areas of active specific immunotherapy, radioimmunoimaging and radioimmunotherapy. Biomira holds a significant interest in HealthVISION Corp. of Vancouver, British Columbia, and ADI Diagnostics Inc. of Toronto. ADI manufactures and distributes Biomira's TRUQUANT(R) cancer diagnostic kits.
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 /CONTACT: Jane Jack, Investor Relations Coordinator, Biomira, 403-490-2812, Saturday & Sunday, c/o Fairmont Hotel, San Francisco, 415-772-5000, Monday c/o Pondel, Parsons, 310-207-9300; or Mark J. Brand or Kimberley A. Kraemer, Pondel Parsons & Wilkinson, 310-207-9300/

CO: Biomira Inc. ST: California IN: HEA SU: PDT

MF-LS -- LA037 -- 8024 10/01/93 21:54 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 1, 1993

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