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IMMUNOGEN'S PHASE I CLINICAL TRIALS DATA WITH ONCOLYSIN B PRESENTED AT AMERICAN SOCIETY OF HEMATOLOGY MEETING

 IMMUNOGEN'S PHASE I CLINICAL TRIALS DATA WITH ONCOLYSIN B
 PRESENTED AT AMERICAN SOCIETY OF HEMATOLOGY MEETING
 DENVER, Colo., Dec. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- The first data from Phase I clinical trials using ImmunoGen, Inc.'s (NASDAQ: IMGN) Oncolysin(R) B in the treatment of B-cell cancers were presented here today at the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH). The trials, conducted at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, involve relapsed patients with Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma or lymphocytic leukemias. While these trials were designed primarily to assess the safety of the product, they also yielded evidence of the efficacy of Oncolysin B in these patients.
 In one study, 43 relapsed patients with Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma or lymphocytic leukemias received therapy with Oncolysin B. Despite the fact that all patients had failed prior therapy, investigators reported two complete remissions (CRs), five partial remissions and 12 significant, but transient, responses. Over 50 percent of patients with low- or intermediate-grade Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and chronic lymphocytic leukemia responded. The dose-limiting toxicities were elevation of liver enzymes, which was reversible, and diminished levels of blood platelets (thrombocytopenia) at doses above the maximum tolerated dose. There was no cardiac, renal, pulmonary or central nervous system toxicity.
 The other study involved Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma patients who received Oncolysin B after autologous bone marrow transplant (ABMT). The maximum tolerated dose in this study also was determined by diminished blood platelet levels. All of the patients followed to date in this study remain in CR, in some cases 18 months post-transplant.
 "We have established that Oncolysin B is active in these patient populations," said ImmunoGen President and CEO Mitchel Sayare, commenting on the results of the studies. "A high percentage of patients responded to the drug in these early safety studies, which has enabled us to move quickly into subsequent trials, to measure efficacy."
 Sayare added that "These results, as well as preliminary data from other Phase I/II trials using Oncolysin B, also have encouraged us to expand the use of our drug to patients who present with minimal residual disease following treatment with chemotherapy, to consolidate the gains induced with prior therapy." While many patients can be put into remission using conventional chemotherapy, they frequently relapse.
 "In particular," Sayare noted, "the initial results from the study in which patients received Oncolysin B following bone marrow transplant present us with the opportunity to structure a Phase III trial with a clearly defined clinical endpoint--time to relapse. Based on results to date, we anticipate that treating these patients with Oncolysin B post-ABMT may eliminate residual disease."
 Oncolysin B is comprised of the monoclonal antibody Anti-B4 linked to "blocked ricin," ImmunoGen's proprietary form of the powerful plant toxin, ricin. ImmunoGen's technology for "blocking" the ricin molecule prevents the indiscriminate binding of ricin to all cells, while maintaining the potency of whole ricin. Anti-B4 specifically targets the CD19 antigen, a marker found on nearly all B cells, normal and neoplastic. ImmunoGen researchers have demonstrated that Oncolysin B and other immunoconjugates using blocked ricin are up to 1,000-times more potent than conventional chemotherapeutics or other ricin-based compounds. Oncolysin B is currently in multicenter Phase II and Phase I/II trials in the treatment of B-cell leukemias and lymphoma, AIDS- related lymphoma, multiple myeloma and as a purging agent in autologous bone marrow transplant.
 ImmunoGen, Inc. is a Cambridge, Mass.-based biotechnology company that develops biopharmaceuticals, primarily for the treatment of cancer. The company produces proprietary toxins, drugs and biologicals conjugated to highly specific monoclonal antibodies which search out and destroy cancer cells. Each of ImmunoGen's first four products -- the Oncolysin portfolio of immunoconjugates--consists of a highly specific monoclonal antibody linked to blocked ricin. ImmunoGen currently has three Oncolysin products in human clinical trials in the United States, Canada and Europe.
 -0- 12/9/91
 /CONTACT: Mark Ratner of ImmunoGen, 617-661-9312/
 (IMGN) CO: ImmunoGen, Inc. ST: Massachusetts; Colorado IN: MTC SU:


KM-PB -- NE001 -- 0472 12/09/91 10:46 EST
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Date:Dec 9, 1991
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