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CLINICAL DATA CONFIRM HIGH DEGREE OF SAFETY AND EFFICACY FOR VESTAR'S DAUNOXOME(TM) IN KAPOSI'S SARCOMA

 CLINICAL DATA CONFIRM HIGH DEGREE OF SAFETY AND EFFICACY
 FOR VESTAR'S DAUNOXOME(TM) IN KAPOSI'S SARCOMA


Early Indications in Phase I Study in Solid Tumors Also Encouraging
 SAN DIMAS, Calif., April 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Clinical results published this week in the Proceedings of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) strongly confirm the potential of the drug DaunoXome(TM) as an effective and well-tolerated treatment for AIDS- related Kaposi's sarcoma (KS). Also published in the ASCO Proceedings are results of a safety study of DaunoXome(TM) indicating that the drug is extremely well-tolerated in patients with solid tumors. DaunoXome(TM) is a targeted liposomal formulation of daunorubicin, an established cancer drug that Vestar Inc. (NASDAQ: VSTR) is pioneering for the treatment of Kaposi's sarcoma and other cancers.
 The Kaposi's sarcoma data are interim results from a Phase I/II study underway at the Los Angeles Oncologic Institute. Of the 16 KS patients in the study evaluated to date, 76 percent have responded positively to DaunoXome(TM) treatment. Two patients had a complete response in which all lesions disappeared or in which there was no evidence of viable tumor cells. Ten patients had a partial response in which the size or number of lesions were reduced by at least half. Moreover, in three of the patients the disease had spread to the internal organs, a progression that can be fatal. Among these patients, there were two partial responses and one complete response.
 "We have concluded that Vestar's liposomal daunorubicin is safe and effective in producing objective and subjective responses in Kaposi's sarcoma, and that the drug may be the treatment of choice in this disease," stated Dr. Cary Presant, the lead investigator of the study, who is chairman of the board at the Los Angeles Oncologic Institute. Presant added that the results in these patients with visceral disease was especially noteworthy since some chemotherapies that are effective for skin lesions have not been valuable in treating the disease when it spreads to internal organs.
 Presant also noted that all the patients in the study were simultaneously undergoing treatment with AZT for AIDS, and most had failed on at least one alternative chemotherapy for Kaposi's sarcoma, including doxorubicin and bleomycin. He added that the drug was well- tolerated, and that he was especially pleased at the low frequency and mild degree of leukopenia (white blood cell suppression) compared with other chemotherapeutic alternatives. Presant also commented that the quality of life scores indicated a high degree of improvement in the patients' physical performance, an important factor since many Kaposi's sarcoma patients become bedridden because of this disease.
 These results substantiate data presented from a study in which DaunoXome(TM) produced responses in 60 percent of the treated Kaposi's sarcoma patients, presented in December 1991 at the American Society of Hematology meeting.
 In the Phase I safety study conducted at the University of Southern California by Dr. F. Muggia, et al., investigators found that patients with solid tumors could safely tolerate DaunoXome(TM) doses of up to 120mg/m2. The investigators reported an absence of stomatitis (mouth sores), an absence of baldness, and only sporadic instances of nausea and vomiting, which are all among the common side effects of free daunorubicin and other chemotherapeutic regimens prescribed for solid tumors. In addition, the study found that one patient had a minimal response in which the tumor shrank, and seven patients had stabilization of disease in which the tumors stopped growing.
 "The data from the Phase II Kaposi's sarcoma trial reinforce our belief that DaunoXome(TM) will play a major role in the treatment of this disease, and we plan to begin Phase III trials for this indication this year," said Roger J. Crossley, M.D., Vestar president and chief executive officer. "We are extremely pleased by the safety and efficacy profile of the drug for solid tumors and particularly encouraged by the fact that the doses were much higher than patients receiving the free drug can normally tolerate. We expect to initiate Phase II trials of this application within the next few months," Crossley added.
 Kaposi's sarcoma, characterized by lesions of the skin, mucous membranes, lymph nodes and internal organs, affects an estimated 15 percent or more of AIDS patients. While current chemotherapeutic regimens have been shown effective in a large percentage of patients, the toxic side effects of hair loss, nausea, and bone marrow suppression can limit the prolonged use of such therapy.
 Vestar Inc., headquartered in San Dimas, develops, tests, manufactures and markets pharmaceuticals to treat patients with cancer and serious infections, including AIDS. The company's initial products use liposomes -- microscopic spheres with walls similar to those of cell membranes -- to encapsulate pharmaceuticals. Since 1989, Vestar has been marketing in Europe its first product, AmBisome, a liposomal formulation of amphotericin B, to treat systemic fungal infections. DaunoXome(TM), a liposomal formulation of the chemotherapeutic agent daunorubicin, is in development as Vestar's second major product.
 -0- 4/24/92
 /CONTACT: Michael E. Hart, CFO of Vestar, 714-394-4119; or Marcia A. Kean, executive VP of Feinstein Partners Inc., 617-577-8110, for Vestar/
 (VSTR) CO: Vestar Inc. ST: California IN: MTC SU:


JL-EH -- LA007 -- 2331 04/24/92 10:00 EDT
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Date:Apr 24, 1992
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