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FDA AUTHORIZES CLINICAL TESTING OF SECOND AGOURON ANTI-TUMOR DRUG

 SAN DIEGO, Jan. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Agouron Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ-NMS: AGPH) announced today that it has been authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to begin clinical testing of its anti-tumor drug designated AG-331. As a result of the FDA action, a Phase I clinical study of AG-331 in cancer patients will be initiated in February at the Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles under the direction of Dr. Franco Muggia.
 Using proprietary methods for drug design, Agouron scientists engineered AG-331 to block the activity of thymidylate synthase (TS) -- an enzyme required for the rapid proliferation of cancer cells. In studies first reported in 1992 at a European symposium on cancer research, AG-331 demonstrated significant anti-tumor activity at sub- toxic doses in both in vitro and in vivo test systems. The Phase I clinical study of AG-331 will evaluate safety and pharmacokinetic parameters of the drug in cancer patients.
 AG-331 is the third inhibitor of TS designed by Agouron scientists to enter clinical trials recently. A structurally unrelated anti-tumor agent designated AG-337 -- also designed to inactivate TS -- is the subject of a Phase I clinical study on cancer patients initiated two months ago in England. Another Agouron TS- targeted anti-proliferative drug designated AG-85 has just entered its second clinical study as a topical anti-psoriatic agent at two centers in California.
 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- 1/26/93
 /CONTACT: Peter Johnson, president and CEO, or Donna Nichols, director-corporate communications, of Agouron Pharmaceuticals, 619-622-3009/
 (AGPH)


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

MS-LS -- SD001 -- 8933 01/26/93 09:05 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 26, 1993
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