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PHASE II CLINICAL TRIAL RESULTS RELEASED - VIRULIZIN PROVIDES BENEFITS TO ADVANCED MALIGNANT MELANOMA PATIENTS

 TORONTO, Jan. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Preliminary results of a multi- center Phase II clinical trial testing the effect of Imutec Corporation's (NASDAQ: IMUTF) VIRULIZIN(TM) in patients with advanced malignant melanoma were released today at the Second International Congress on Biological Response Modifiers in San Diego. The results indicated that VIRULIZIN provided survival and quality of life benefits for these advanced cancer patients.
 The trial, coordinated by Dr. Jaime de la Garza, director of research and post graduate studies and president of the Scientific Committee at the Mexican National Cancer Institute, has been ongoing at three hospitals in Mexico since September 1990.
 VIRULIZIN, a biological response modifier (BRM) of bovine reticuloendothelial origin, is extracted using Imutec's proprietary technology. A natural biopharmaceutical, it has been shown to cause no significant toxicity and only mild transient adverse effects.
 Survival results were derived from all of the 31 patients with advanced malignant melanoma (stage III and IV) who participated in the trial. Sixty-one percent of these patients had been previously treated with other therapies and 84 percent of them had a heavy tumor burden (more than one metastatic site). Among the specific findings, as of the date of reporting, were the following:
 -- Of the 31 patients treated with VIRULIZIN the one year survival rate was 23 percent - versus a historical one-year survival rate of 8 percent for all advanced malignant melanoma patients.
 -- Patients in the trial with two tumor sites had a 29 percent one-year survival rate, compared with a 13 percent historical one year survival rate for similar patients.
 -- Patients with three or more tumor sites had a 17 percent one-year survival rate, against a historical one year survival rate of 0 percent for similar patients.
 -- Median survival for the 31 patients in the trial was 310 days compared with the median for patients with similarly advanced malignant melanoma of 120 days. For patients with three or more tumor sites media survival was 215 days - against 60 days for patients with similarly advanced malignant melanoma.
 -- Twelve patients (39 percent) are still alive.
 Also reported in the study were quality of life benefits for most patients, including pain reduction, weight gain, and tumor reduction. In addition, ten patients manifested no tumor growth for periods ranging from 60 to 200 days, with a median of 150 days.
 According to Dr. de la Garza, "The standard treatment by which others are judged is still Dacarbazine (DTIC) which carries with it severe nausea and vomiting, and a potentially lethal side effect of acute liver necrosis by thrombosis of the hepatic veins." He further stated that DTIC "fails to show any definitive survival advantages".
 "The difference in survival between the historical and the protocol group suggest a survival advantage for patients treated with VIRULIZIN, Dr. de la Garza concluded. "These data warrant further investigation in a randomized study."
 "On the strength of these encouraging results, we are currently developing a protocol for Phase III clinical trials for patients with advanced malignant melanoma in Mexico which we will begin in 1993," said Richard Potts, Imutec President and Chief Executive Officer. "We believe this is one more important step toward commercialization of VIRULIZIN, the first of a family of biopharmaceuticals based on our biologic response modifier technology."
 Potential application of Imutec's technology is broad; however, the company's approach in clinical trials to date has been focused on cancer and, more particularly, on advanced pancreatic cancer and advanced malignant melanoma. These two conditions normally result in rapid death and there is no currently effective therapy.
 Traditionally, accelerated or "fast track" regulatory approval has been available to drugs - such as VIRULIZIN - which have no competition in the marketplace and which make progress against untreatable life threatening conditions.
 "At this point, VIRULIZIN is being given in an attempt to extend and improve quality of life for patients with advanced untreatable cancers," said Dr. Phil Gold, the Chairman of the Company's Medical Advisory Board. "Over time, the obvious aim would be to test VIRULIZIN on patients who have been diagnosed earlier in their cancer and for whom greater benefits, including long term remission, are possible. Based on results to date we are encouraged about these prospects."
 In other recent developments at Imutec:
 -- Based on encouraging results from a Phase II clinical trial at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, the Company's Medical Advisory Board will meet in February of this year to review the development of a protocol for a randomized multi-center Phase III clinical trial in Canada with patients suffering from pancreatic cancer.
 -- Dr. David Thomson of McGill University and The Montreal General Hospital has been contracted to run a 12-month research program aimed at furthering the previous work on identification of the active components and mechanism of action of VIRULIZIN. Work to date indicates that VIRULIZIN may affect the production of Tumor Necrosis Factor, a natural product of the white blood cells.
 -- On the basis of results from a pilot study, the Company is also developing a protocol for a Phase III clinical trial in Mexico using VIRULIZIN in the treatment of advanced cervico-uterine cancer. Rare in developed countries, cancer of the cervix and uterus is a leading cause of death in women in lesser developed countries.
 -- An investigational new drug (IND) submission was filed for a Phase I/II clinical trial to begin early this year by Dr. Chris Tsoukas of McGill University and The Montreal General Hospital with HIV-positive patients with Kaposi's Sarcoma.
 -- The Company will initiate negotiations in 1993 regarding involvement of a multinational pharmaceutical company (MPC). Confidentiality agreements have already been signed with 14 MPC's
 -- In December, Imutec completed construction of a new current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) pilot plant, as part of its Toronto head office facility. The plant will allow for the production of increased quantities of VIRULIZIN to support the expanding clinical trial program.
 Imutec is a biotechnology company using a proprietary technology to develop and commercialize naturally derived immunologic biopharmaceuticals for use in the treatment of diseases. To date, Imutec has applied its technology to produce VIRULIZIN, a potential new drug for the treatment of cancer.
 VIRULIZIN is currently undergoing Phase II clinical trials at ten North American hospitals on the following types of cancer: pancreatic, malignant melanoma, kidney, stomach, cervico-uterine and recurrent cancer of the rectum and colon.
 Imutec common shares are listed on both the NASDAQ and the Canadian Dealer Network System.
 -0- 1/29/93
 /CONTACT: David W. Cooke, director of corporate development of Imutec Corporation, Voice Mail Extension 227, 416-724-1100, or 1-800-561-9400, or 416-724-1167 (fax)/
 (IMUTF)


CO: Imutec Corporation ST: Ontario IN: MTC SU:

SH -- NY019 -- 0657 01/29/93 10:05 EST
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