Humanised HMFG1, Under Development By Antisoma as Therex, Shown to Be Effective at Harnessing 'Components of the Body's Immune System in the Fight Against Breast Cancer

Apr 30, 2001, 01:00 ET from Antisoma plc

    LONDON, April 30 /PRNewswire/ -- In a study published in the online
 version of the International Journal of Cancer, scientists from the Free
 University Medical Center, Amsterdam, showed that humanised HMFG1, a novel
 cancer-targeting antibody being developed by UK biopharmaceutical company
 Antisoma plc (LSE:ASM) (EASD: ASOM) as Therex, effectively harnesses
 components of the body's immune system to destroy tumour cell lines isolated
 from patients with breast cancer, in cell culture.
     HMFG1 targets a specific protein, polymorphic epithelial mucin (PEM,
 MUC1), which is found on over 90% of breast cancer cells and many other solid
 tumours.  Previously published data have shown that PEM (MUC1) overexpression
 is associated with progressive breast, ovarian and colon cancers.
     Other researchers have reported that breast cancer patients, vaccinated
 with the core protein component of PEM (MUC1), produce high levels of anti-PEM
 antibodies, similar to HMFG1 and Therex in their targeting potential.  The
 Dutch study suggests that these anti-PEM antibodies guide the patient's immune
 system to attack breast cancer cells by a process called antibody-dependent
 cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC).  The anti-PEM antibodies act like marker
 flags, guiding normal components of the body's immune system called Natural
 Killer cells, to seek and destroy the targeted cancer cells.
     The findings of the Amsterdam researchers, that even low levels of HMFG1
 are potent intermediaries in the ADCC process, support Antisoma's development
 programme and provide evidence of Therex's possible mode of action.  The study
 may provide an explanation for an earlier observation, made by the same
 researchers, that breast cancer patients with naturally occurring anti-PEM
 antibodies have a better prognosis.
     "This research further supports our view that Therex has great potential
 in cancer therapy,"" said Tony Whitehead, Director of Clinical Development at
 Antisoma.  "Nearly 500,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year in
 North America, Europe and Japan and the disease is the leading cause of death
 in women aged 35-50.  Therex seeks out targets on most breast cancer cells,
 unlike the currently available antibody therapy, opening up the possibility of
 treating more patients with breast cancer.  We are on track to start our Phase
 II clinical studies during 2002."
 
     Visit http://www.antisoma.com for further information about Antisoma and
 http://www.azvu.nl/veng/index.html for an abstract of the publication.
 
 

SOURCE Antisoma plc
    LONDON, April 30 /PRNewswire/ -- In a study published in the online
 version of the International Journal of Cancer, scientists from the Free
 University Medical Center, Amsterdam, showed that humanised HMFG1, a novel
 cancer-targeting antibody being developed by UK biopharmaceutical company
 Antisoma plc (LSE:ASM) (EASD: ASOM) as Therex, effectively harnesses
 components of the body's immune system to destroy tumour cell lines isolated
 from patients with breast cancer, in cell culture.
     HMFG1 targets a specific protein, polymorphic epithelial mucin (PEM,
 MUC1), which is found on over 90% of breast cancer cells and many other solid
 tumours.  Previously published data have shown that PEM (MUC1) overexpression
 is associated with progressive breast, ovarian and colon cancers.
     Other researchers have reported that breast cancer patients, vaccinated
 with the core protein component of PEM (MUC1), produce high levels of anti-PEM
 antibodies, similar to HMFG1 and Therex in their targeting potential.  The
 Dutch study suggests that these anti-PEM antibodies guide the patient's immune
 system to attack breast cancer cells by a process called antibody-dependent
 cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC).  The anti-PEM antibodies act like marker
 flags, guiding normal components of the body's immune system called Natural
 Killer cells, to seek and destroy the targeted cancer cells.
     The findings of the Amsterdam researchers, that even low levels of HMFG1
 are potent intermediaries in the ADCC process, support Antisoma's development
 programme and provide evidence of Therex's possible mode of action.  The study
 may provide an explanation for an earlier observation, made by the same
 researchers, that breast cancer patients with naturally occurring anti-PEM
 antibodies have a better prognosis.
     "This research further supports our view that Therex has great potential
 in cancer therapy,"" said Tony Whitehead, Director of Clinical Development at
 Antisoma.  "Nearly 500,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year in
 North America, Europe and Japan and the disease is the leading cause of death
 in women aged 35-50.  Therex seeks out targets on most breast cancer cells,
 unlike the currently available antibody therapy, opening up the possibility of
 treating more patients with breast cancer.  We are on track to start our Phase
 II clinical studies during 2002."
 
     Visit http://www.antisoma.com for further information about Antisoma and
 http://www.azvu.nl/veng/index.html for an abstract of the publication.
 
 SOURCE  Antisoma plc