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Introgen's mda-7 gene therapeutic receives patent.

Introgen Therapeutics, Inc. (Austin, TX; 512-708-9310) and Columbia University (New York, NY) announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued, to Columbia University, United States Patent 6,355,622 entitled "Use of a melanoma differentiation associated gene (mda-7) for inducing apoptosis of a tumor cell" listing Columbia scientist Dr. Paul Fisher as inventor. The patent relates to treatment methods employing the mda-7 tumor suppressor gene. The mda-7 gene is the subject of Introgen's gene therapeutic INGN 241 currently being tested in a phase 1 clinical trial for the treatment of solid tumors in cancer patients.

The patent covers the methods by which introduction of the mda-7 gene into cancer cells induces apoptosis, or programmed cell death, regardless of the vector used to deliver the gene. Earlier studies with Introgen's collaborators have documented the ability of mda-7 to selectively inhibit cancer cell growth suggesting that this gene may provide therapeutic benefits in the treatment of human cancers.

"The Columbia patent covers important clinical applications of the mda-7 gene, a tumor suppressor gene that forms the genetic basis of Introgen's second product in clinical testing. This patent is of significant strategic value and is indicative of our ability to ensure that our pipeline products are protected with strong, well-designed intellectual property," said David L. Parker, J.D., Ph.D., vice president of intellectual property for Introgen.

INGN 241 is a modified adenoviral vector that carries the cancer cell killing mda-7 gene. The mda-7 gene was first discovered by the laboratory of Dr. Paul B. Fisher, Professor of Clinical Pathology and the Michael and Stella Chernow Urological Cancer Research Scientist in the Departments of Neurological Surgery, Pathology and Urology at Columbia University. Introgen holds an exclusive worldwide license to the gene for all gene therapy applications from the Corixa Corporation.

Introgen is a leader in the development and production of gene-based drugs for the treatment of cancer and other diseases. Through more than 20 clinical trials, the company has treated hundreds of patients with thousands of doses of its lead product candidate, ADVEXIN adenoviral p53 therapy, which represents the largest clinical development program in the gene therapy field. Introgen specializes in combining therapeutic genes and proprietary adenoviral delivery systems to make its novel drug candidates. Introgen is conducting two controlled and randomized phase 3 clinical trials with ADVEXIN for the treatment of head and neck cancer patients, a phase 2 study in breast cancer, as well as phase 1 trials in patients with prostate, ovarian, bladder, and brain cancers, and completed phase 2 studies in lung cancer and head and neck cancers. Introgen maintains integrated research, development, manufacturing, clinical and regulatory departments and operates a commercial-scale, cGMP manufacturing facility.
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Title Annotation:Introgen Therapeutics, Inc.; U.S. Patent 6,355,622 issued, to Columbia University
Publication:BIOTECH Patent News
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 1, 2002
Previous Article:Cellegy issued patent covering use of potassium channel openers to treat anorectal disorders.
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