IDEC PHARMACEUTICALS REPORTS INTERIM PHASE I/II CLINICAL STUDY RESULTS ON THE TREATMENT OF MALIGNANT MELANOMA
IDEC PHARMACEUTICALS REPORTS INTERIM PHASE I/II CLINICAL STUDY
RESULTS ON THE TREATMENT OF MALIGNANT MELANOMA
LA JOLLA and MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., July 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, at the NATO Advanced Studies Institute meeting in Cape Sounion Beach, Greece, IDEC Pharmaceuticals Corporation (NASDAQ: IDPH) presented an interim report on human clinical studies of its therapeutic vaccines for the treatment of malignant melanoma, an often fatal form of skin cancer.
Speaking before a group of international researchers, James A. Merritt, M.D., senior director of clinical research at IDEC Pharmaceuticals, reported that about 100 melanoma patients have been treated with either I-Mel-1 or I-Mel-2 in ongoing Phase I/II clinical studies at seven medical centers in the U.S. The treatments with these monoclonal antibodies appear to be safe and well-tolerated by the patients. The two product candidates are designed to stimulate the patient's immune system to produce antibodies against malignant melanoma. Their intent is to create immunity to the cancer, thereby eliminating the malignant cells and delaying or preventing the spread of disease to other parts of the body.
"According to serum analyses of a subset of patients treated in initial clinical studies, the use of either I-Mel-1 or I-Mel-2 appears to stimulate the production of anti-melanoma antibodies in a significant majority of the tested patients," Dr. Merritt reported. "This immune response confirms results seen previously in preclinical animal studies."
"We are very pleased to see such early, promising results in a sizable patient population and at multiple clinical sites," said William H. Rastetter, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of the company. "These results, while early, move the concept of therapeutic vaccines beyond the theoretical."
"Our hope is that I-Mel-1 and I-Mel-2 may prove generally useful among the population of melanoma patients," Dr. Rastetter said. "IDEC's primary goal is to provide treatment for patients who have undergone cancer surgery but are at risk of tumor relapse. We also hope to benefit patients who have inoperable, metastasized melanoma."
"These early results in our current Phase I/II clinical studies are an important step forward, but because they are preliminary, we will need to complete additional clinical studies with larger numbers of patients to demonstrate efficacy and establish the roles of I-Mel- 1 and I-Mel-2 in the management of melanoma," said Dr. Rastetter.
IDEC Pharmaceuticals is a leader in the development of immunologically active monoclonal antibodies for therapeutic applications. The company's product candidates are designed to act through immune system mechanisms and potentially offer greater specificity of action, longer therapeutic effect and lower toxicity than is typical of existing therapies. Current efforts are focused on the treatment of immune system cancers (lymphomas and leukemias), malignant melanoma, HIV infection and autoimmune disorders. Five IDEC product candidates are currently undergoing human clinical testing in the U.S. and Canada.
IDEC Pharmaceuticals is headquartered at 11099 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037. Company operations are also located in Mountain View, CA.
/CONTACT: Richard W. Krawiec, director, investor relations and corporate communications, 619-458-0600, or Clifford Orent, senior VP and chief operating officer, 415-940-1200, both of IDEC Pharmaceuticals/
(IDPH) CO: IDEC Pharmaceuticals Corp. ST: California IN: MTC SU: KJ-CH -- SD001 -- 5515 07/01/92 09:03 EDT