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Title: Angiogenesis Inhibitor Combrestatin, by OXiGENE, Begins PHASE I Clinical Trials - 11/11/98 - Pharmacology and Legal Drugs - from About.com
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Angiogenesis Inhibitor Combrestatin, by OXiGENE, Begins PHASE I Clinical Trials   11/11/98

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Angiogenesis Inhibitors in Clinical Trials - List of Drugs and Contact Information

Press Release: Tumor Vascular Targeting Agent Attacks Cancer-Specific Blood Vessels Formed by Angiogenesis

Boston, Massachusetts, November 11, 1998 - Addressing the ABN AMRO Health Care Conference in New York, Björn Nordenvall, M.D., Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of OXiGENE, (Nasdaq:OXGN; SSE:OXGN) announced today that the Company has begun treating the first patient in a U.S. Phase I clinical trial of Combretastatin A-4 Prodrug for the treatment of solid tumors. In addition, the Company announced plans to initiate a second Phase I study with Combretastatin in the U.S. later this year and the British charity, Cancer Research Campaign, is commencing a third Phase I study in the U.K. OXiGENE’s clinical trials of Combretastatin will evaluate three different dosing regimens, as well as the safety, pharmacokinetics, reduction of tumor blood flow and maximum tolerated dose of Combretastatin in humans. Combretastatin is believed to be the first in a new class of drugs known as tumor vascular targeting agents, which selectively targets and destroys cancer-specific blood vessels formed by angiogenesis.

"More than 90 percent of all cancers are solid tumors, and most rely on the blood supply to survive and grow," said Scot Remick, M.D., Program Leader, Developmental Therapeutics Division of Hematology and Oncology, Ireland Cancer Center at University Hospitals of Cleveland and Associate Professor of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University. "In preclinical studies, Combretastatin demonstrated potency as a stand-alone therapy, and increased potency in combination with other agents in destroying tumor vasculature. These trials represent the first opportunity to assess the use of this promising new compound in humans."

"The development of Combretastatin is in line with the Company’s overall strategy to discover new products that will enhance the effectiveness of conventional cancer therapies," said Dr. Nordenvall. "Initial data from the Phase I trials will determine the safety of Combretastatin as a stand-alone therapy and will frame the design of future trials which will evaluate Combretastatin in combination with other cancer treatments."

Tumor vascular targeting and angiogenesis inhibition are related but distinct cancer therapies, which radically depart from conventional approaches to treating cancer. Certain new drugs in this class of compounds target a tumor’s life support system, the network of newly emerging blood vessels, while leaving blood vessels associated with normal tissue unaffected. A process called angiogenesis, which is the growth of new blood vessels from previously existing ones, forms the tumor-specific blood vessels. Combretastatin differs from anti-angiogenesis drugs in that Combretastatin destroys existing blood vessels in tumors, whereas anti-angiogenesis drugs inhibit the growth of new blood vessels in tumors.

Combretastatin is being developed as a drug that could potentially be used in combination with chemotherapy and radiation to enhance the effectiveness of these traditional cancer treatments. In animal studies, Combretastatin was shown to selectively attack and destroy existing tumor vasculature, creating a rapid and irreversible shutdown of the tumors’ blood vessels. In one such study, published in Cancer Research, v. 57:1829 (May 1997) researchers found that a single dose of Combretastatin reduced tumor blood flow in mice by 93 percent. Twenty-four hours after injection with Combretastatin, 95 percent of the cancer cells were dead as a result of being deprived of oxygen and nutrients.

OXiGENE is an international biopharmaceutical company developing a diverse portfolio of innovative products to combat cancer and other major diseases. The Company’s mission is to develop new therapeutics that will enhance the effectiveness of traditional cancer treatments. OXiGENE has several product candidates in clinical development, including a second-generation DNA repair inhibitor Neu-Sensamide‘, in Phase III clinical trials in patients with non-small cell lung cancer and a Phase I study in patients with glioblastoma; a third-generation DNA repair inhibitor Declopramide (previously OXi-104), in Phase I studies in patients with advanced stage cancers; Combretastatin A-4 Prodrug, a tumor vascular targeting agent for the treatment of solid tumors, in Phase I studies in patients with advanced stage cancers; and Cordycepin, in Phase I/II studies in patients with TdT-positive leukemia.

SOURCE: OXiGENE

See also Angiogenesis Inhibitors in Clinical Trials - List of Drugs and Contact Information

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produced/revised/updated: 12/23/04 02:34 PM

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