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NeoRx Awarded Research Grant From National Cancer Institute; NeoRx Pretarget Technology Shows Clinical Evidence of Improved Patient Tolerance for Higher Radiation Doses.

Business Editors


NeoRx Corporation (Nasdaq:NERX) today announced that it has been awarded a Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grant from the National Cancer Institute. The grant, which could be for as much as $950,000, will be used to bring to trial NeoRx's Pretarget(R)-Lymphoma product.

In Phase I of the grant, titled &uot;Pretargeted Radioimunotherapy to Treat Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma (NHL)&uot; NeoRx will demonstrate the use of a genetically engineered protein to target a radionuclide to a human lymphoma tumor growing in a mouse. Funding of Phase II, which provides for clinical studies, is expected to begin in the second or third quarter of 2000, pending successful completion of Phase I.

&uot;Improved therapies are clearly needed for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma,&uot; said Paul G. Abrams, M.D., J.D., NeoRx's Chief Executive Officer, &uot;as the award of this grant and the excellent priority score it received in the review process suggest.&uot;

&uot;We have treated seven predominantly late-stage NHL patients using a prototype Pretarget(R) product. Six of the seven showed evidence of tumor regression and three had complete remissions. Most significantly, we treated the patients at dosages two to three times higher than the maximum tolerated doses of other antibody-based products currently in development for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Our product did not cause dose-limiting toxicity even in heavily pre-treated patients.&uot;

Pretarget(R) is a proprietary method of radioimunotherapy in which the antibody and radionuclide are separately injected and subsequently join at the tumor. Because the radionuclide is a small, drug-sized molecule, its circulation time is short, avoiding patient exposure to large amounts of radiation that are not targeted directly to the tumor. In contrast, conventional radioimunotherapy links radiation to a large, long-circulating antibody and exposes healthy organs to higher radiation doses and potentially more severe toxicity than with Pretarget(R).

Alan R. Fritzberg, Ph.D., the principal investigator on the SBIR grant added: &uot;The Phase I funding will enable us to complete preclincal development of our second-generation lymphoma product. In addition to production advantages, animal trials lead us to suspect that this fusion protein offers several performance advantages.&uot;

NeoRx Corporation is developing innovative products designed to provide improved, cost-effective treatments for patients with cancer.

This release contains forward-looking statements relating to the development of the Company's products and future operating results that are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. The words &uot;believe,&uot; &uot;expect,&uot; &uot;intend,&uot; &uot;anticipate,&uot; variations of such words, and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements, but their absence does not mean that the statement is not forward-looking. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions that are difficult to predict. Factors that could affect the Company's actual results include the progress and costs of clinical trials and the timing of regulatory approvals. Reference is made to the Company's latest Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a more detailed description of such factors. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements that speak only as of the date of this release. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement to reflect new information, events, or circumstances after the date of this release or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.

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NeoRx and Pretarget are registered trademarks of NeoRx Corporation in the United States and/or foreign countries.

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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Feb 18, 2000
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