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GENITOPE INITIATES TRIAL TO EVALUATE MYVAX FOR LEUKEMIA.

Genitope Corporation (NASDAQ:GTOP), Redwood City, Calif., has initiated a clinical trial to evaluate the use of MyVax(R) personalized immunotherapy to treat Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL), a type of cancer affecting the blood and bone marrow. MyVax(R) personalized immunotherapy is based on the unique genetic makeup of a patient's own tumor, and is designed to activate the patient's immune system to fight cancer.

"Active immunotherapy, sometimes called a cancer vaccine, has shown considerable promise in treating non-Hodgkin's lymphoma," said Dan W. Denney, Jr., Ph.D., chief executive officer of Genitope. "The initiation of this trial marks a key milestone in our efforts to expand the clinical development of MyVax(R) personalized immunotherapy beyond non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in the hope of finding an effective treatment for CLL."

Nine leading North American cancer centers will begin registering approximately 70 patients in a Phase I/II clinical trial to investigate MyVax(R) personalized immunotherapy for treating CLL. Men and women 18 years of age or older who have been diagnosed with CLL Rai stage 0, I and II, and who are untreated may be eligible for the study. Eligible patients will receive a series of 16 injections of his or her custom-made immunotherapy over a 52-week period.

"B-cell malignancies are good candidates for active immunotherapy. Unlike many other types of cancer, B-cell leukemias and lymphomas each have unique proteins that can distinguish them from one another and from normal cells. MyVax(R) personalized immunotherapy will help the body target this unique protein on the cancer cells, while sparing healthy cells," said the study's lead investigator, Tom Kipps, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Medicine, Head of the Hematologic Malignancies Program and Deputy Director for Research at the Moores Cancer Center at University of California, San Diego. "The goals of this Phase I/II study are to determine whether MyVax(R) personalized immunotherapy can induce anti-tumor immune responses that can eradicate or block the progression of leukemia and to ascertain the tolerability of this innovative approach as a therapy for CLL."

"The results of early clinical trials at Stanford University Medical Center suggest that personalized active immunotherapy may induce long-term remission and improve survival in NHL patients, which leads us to believe this treatment method may be useful in other B-cell malignancies," said Richard Furman, M.D., head of CLL and Waldenstrom's Macroglobulinemia program at Weill Medical College of Cornell University in New York.

CLL is a type of cancer in which the bone marrow makes too many lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell. It is characterized by an uncontrolled accumulation of large numbers of lymphocytes in the blood, bone marrow, lymph nodes and other organs. CLL, which is currently incurable, affects approximately 70,000 patients in the U.S.

For more information about the trial and a complete list of open trial sites, patients can call Genitope Corporation at 866-GENITOPE or visit http://www.genitope.com.

About Genitope Corporation

Genitope Corporation (Redwood City, Calif.) is a biotechnology company focused on the research and development of novel immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer. Genitope Corporation's lead product candidate, MyVax(R) personalized immunotherapy, is a patient-specific active immunotherapy based on the unique genetic makeup of a patient's tumor and is designed to activate the patient's immune system to identify and attack cancer cells.
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Publication:Biotech Business
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 1, 2006
Words:550
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