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IDEC PHARMACEUTICALS SIGNIFICANTLY EXPANDS LYMPHOMA CLINICAL PROGRAM

Phase I/II Studies Commencing With Pan-B Antibodies; Pivotal Phase
 III Protocol Filed for SPECIFID(TM) Antibodies
 LA JOLLA and MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Feb. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- IDEC Pharmaceuticals Corporation (NASDAQ: IDPH) is significantly expanding its lymphoma clinical program to include two new therapeutic product candidates, a genetically engineered "pan-B" antibody for immunotherapy and a yttrium-conjugated pan-B antibody for targeted radiation therapy; these are in addition to the company's SPECIFID(TM) panel of antibodies.
 Investigational New Drug applications (INDs) on the company's two new product candidates have been cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for human clinical testing. The engineered pan- B antibody has entered Phase I/II human clinical testing at Stanford University Medical Center, and the yttrium-conjugated pan-B antibody will soon begin human testing. In addition, a pivotal Phase III clinical study protocol for SPECIFID antibodies has been filed with the FDA. The company expects this study will form the basis of its Product License Application for marketing approval.
 IDEC's objective with its lymphoma program is to provide a range of products enabling the broad population of B-cell lymphoma patients to receive antibody-based therapies. SPECIFID is designed to provide tumor-specific immunotherapy, selectively depleting only malignant B cells by targeting specific cell-surface markers that are present on the tumors of approximately 25 percent of the patients with non- Hodgkin's B-cell lymphoma. Pan-B antibodies, which broaden the number of potentially treatable patients, target all of the patient's B cells, binding to a cell surface marker that is present on the tumors of greater that 90 percent of lymphoma patients. The pan-B antibodies temporarily deplete normal B cells along with the malignant cells; but research to date indicates that bone marrow cells will spontaneously replenish the patient's normal B cells following pan-B therapy.


Pan-B Antibodies
 The genetically engineered pan-B product candidate is an immunologically active antibody, designed to harness the patient's natural immune mechanisms to target the cancer. Preclinical studies with this antibody have demonstrated its ability to deplete B cells in both peripheral blood and lymphatic tissue.
 Since radiotherapy plays an important role today in the management of many lymphomas, IDEC Pharmaceuticals has developed a second therapeutic pan-B antibody, conjugated with a yttrium radioisotope to provide targeted radiation therapy. An indium- conjugated pan-B antibody will be used as a companion product to image the patient's tumors and is the subject of a third IND recently cleared by the FDA for human testing. The objective with these product candidates is to provide safer, more effective radiotherapy than is possible with external-beam radiation.
 Supporting IDEC's targeted approach to radiotherapy, the company previously tested prototype products -- yttrium-conjugated and indium-conjugated anti-idiotype antibodies -- that were customized to each patient's tumor. In a small group of patients with relapsed lymphoma, partial or complete responses were observed in 50 percent of the patients. The company has replaced the prototype products with pan-B antibodies, which do not require a lengthy process of customization and therefore can be used as off-the-shelf products to provide more readily available therapy and treat a significantly larger patient population.


SPECIFID Antibodies
 Further along in clinical development is SPECIFID, a panel of 15 immunologically active antibodies. This product candidate is highly specific for malignant B cells and is intended for use in treating some types of low-grade or intermediate-grade non-Hodgkin's B-cell lymphomas. SPECIFID antibodies seek to deplete only the patient's malignant B cells by targeting cell-surface markers which are characteristic of certain malignant B cells. These cell-surface markers can be detected during diagnosis of the patient's disease, indicating whether or not the patient may be a candidate for SPECIFID therapy.
 After reviewing its clinical study results to date and consulting with the National Cancer Institute, IDEC Pharmaceuticals has written and submitted to the FDA two clinical protocols for advanced product testing. The company believes these protocols best reflect how SPECIFID would be used in the physician's practice, following the successful completion of human testing and receipt of marketing approval. Upon FDA clearance of the clinical protocols, IDEC Pharmaceuticals plans to begin its pivotal Phase III study, as well as a second clinical study, at many of the same centers which conducted initial Phase III clinical studies with SPECIFID antibodies.
 Under the pivotal Phase III protocol, low-grade lymphoma patients whose disease has relapsed would be treated first with standard chemotherapy and then with SPECIFID. For comparison purposes, a second group of relapsed, low-grade lymphoma patients would receive only chemotherapy. The company's objective with this study is to evaluate the product's potential for improving the quality and the duration of clinical remissions beyond what is possible today with chemotherapy alone. Currently, the management of low-grade lymphomas is characterized by cycles of chemotherapy, disease remission, and, upon relapse, repeated chemotherapy. Over time, the duration of remission shortens, the disease becomes more aggressive, and the aggressiveness of chemotherapy necessarily increases. Given the relatively mild side effects seen to date with SPECIFID, the company believes the product's use following chemotherapy may address an unmet need for therapeutic agents which can improve and extend tumor remissions without adding to the toxic effects of chemotherapy.
 The second treatment protocol focuses on "histologic converters," patients whose disease has progressed from low-grade lymphoma to a more aggressive form. Previous SPECIFID studies have included a small number of histologic converters, and the results have been particularly encouraging. In this patient population, the prognosis using even aggressive chemotherapy regimens is poor, and the median survival is less than one year. SPECIFID may provide a treatment alternative which induces significant tumor remissions while also improving the patient's quality of life without the toxicity of chemotherapy.


IDEC Pharmaceuticals
 IDEC Pharmaceuticals is focused on the development of antibody- based therapies for the treatment of a wide range of human diseases. These agents typically 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. Several human clinical studies are in progress using product candidates for the treatment of immune system cancers (lymphomas), malignant melanoma and HIV infection. Late-stage preclinical testing also is under way for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases.
 IDEC Pharmaceuticals is headquartered at 11099 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037. Company operations also are located in Mountain View, CA.
 /EDITOR'S NOTE: IDEC Pharmaceuticals has issued two additional press releases today entitled: "IDEC Pharmaceuticals and SmithKline Beecham Expand Primatized' Antibody Collaboration to Include Asia" and "IDEC Pharmaceuticals Starting to Unify Facilities and Staff in San Diego."/
 -0- 2/22/93
 /CONTACT: Richard W. Krawiec, director, investor relations and corporate communications, 619-458-0600, or Clifford Orent, senior VP & COO, 415-940-1200, both of IDEC Pharmaceuticals/
 (IDPH)


CO: IDEC Pharmaceuticals Corp. ST: California IN: MTC SU:

JL-JB -- SD004 -- 8827 02/22/93 09:12 EST
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Date:Feb 22, 1993
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