Preclinical Study Published in Clinical Cancer Research Documents Link Between PCDGF Protein and Prostate Cancer
GAITHERSBURG, Md., Feb 23, 2004 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- MedImmune, Inc.
(Nasdaq: MEDI) announced today that elevated levels of PC cell-derived growth
factor (PCDGF) may be an early signal of prostate cancer progression. In a
preclinical study published in the February 15 issue of Clinical Cancer
Research, MedImmune scientists together with their collaborators at A&G
Pharmaceutical, Inc. and Indiana University documented significantly higher
levels of PCDGF expression in clinical samples of invasive prostate cancer
tissue than in adjacent benign or normal tissue.
"We have added notably to the body of research about PCDGF by linking the
protein's expression to cancerous cells in the prostate," said Peter Kiener,
D.Phil., vice president, research at MedImmune. "Previously, researchers had
demonstrated that breast and ovarian cancer cell growth may be reduced by
inhibiting PCDGF expression. Based upon data accumulated from early-stage
studies of both breast and prostate cancer, anti-PCDGF antibodies may provide
important medical options for patients with difficult-to-treat forms of the
In the published article, entitled "PC Cell-Derived Growth Factor
Expression in Prostatic Intraepithelial Neoplasia and Prostatic
Adenocarcinoma," PCDGF is described as a novel growth factor that stimulates
cell proliferation as well as tumor growth and invasiveness in tissue samples
and in animal models. In 2002, MedImmune in-licensed exclusive worldwide
therapeutic rights to technology targeting PCDGF from A&G Pharmaceutical,
Inc., a private biotechnology company located in Columbia, Maryland. Since
then, MedImmune and A&G scientists have begun to build a body of scientific
evidence demonstrating the role of the glycoprotein in prostate cancer.
Should additional preclinical studies continue to exhibit comparable results,
MedImmune anticipates filing an Investigational New Drug application (IND)
with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in 2005 to begin testing a drug
targeting this molecule in humans.
According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), prostate cancer is the
second most common type of cancer found in American men, trailing only skin
cancer incidence. In 2004, ACS estimates that there will be more than 230,000
new cases of prostate cancer in the U.S. and approximately 29,900 deaths due
to the disease. It is believed that one out of every six men will be
diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime. Although most prostate
cancers grow very slowly, the prognosis is very poor in cases where the
disease has spread to bone or other organs.
"We, at A&G Pharmaceutical, are very excited that PCDGF's potential
involvement in prostate cancer has been documented," said Dr. Ginette Serrero,
vice president of A&G Pharmaceutical, Inc. and inventor of the PCDGF
technology. "As the developers of a next-generation diagnostic test for
prostate cancer, we believe diagnostic kits and therapeutics based on the same
molecular target are the future for cancer detection, monitoring and
Expanding the MedImmune Oncology Pipeline
Since February 1999, when MedImmune acquired Vitaxin(R), its first cancer-
related product candidate, MedImmune has been selectively building its
oncology organization and pipeline. The company's goal is to become a world
leader in the development and marketing of cancer-related therapies.
Currently, MedImmune has an 80-person oncology sales and marketing
organization detailing Ethyol(R) (amifostine) to oncologists throughout the
MedImmune's research and development organization is advancing and
expanding the focus of a number of internal product candidates through
melanoma and prostate cancer studies with Vitaxin, non-small cell lung cancer
and acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) studies with Ethyol, and T cell lymphoma
studies with siplizumab. In addition, since October 2001, MedImmune's
internal discovery and in-licensing activities have successfully expanded the
company's preclinical pipeline with several new oncology-related technologies
About MedImmune, Inc.
MedImmune is a leading biotechnology company focused on researching,
developing and commercializing products to prevent or treat infectious
disease, autoimmune disease and cancer. MedImmune actively markets four
products, Synagis(R) (palivizumab), Ethyol(R) (amifostine), FluMist(TM)
(Influenza Virus Vaccine Live, Intranasal), and CytoGam(R) (cytomegalovirus
immune globulin intravenous (human)), and has additional products in clinical
testing. MedImmune employs approximately 1,800 people, is headquartered in
Gaithersburg, Maryland, and has additional operations in Frederick, Maryland,
as well as Pennsylvania, California, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.
For more information on MedImmune and its products, visit the company's
website at www.medimmune.com.
This announcement may contain, in addition to historical information,
certain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Such
statements reflect management's current views and are based on certain
assumptions. Actual results could differ materially from those currently
anticipated as a result of a number of factors, including risks and
uncertainties discussed in MedImmune's filings with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission. The company is developing several products for potential
future marketing. There can be no assurance that such development efforts
will succeed, that such products will receive required regulatory clearance or
that, even if such regulatory clearance were received, such products would
ultimately achieve commercial success.
SOURCE MedImmune, Inc.
Media: Jamie Lacey, +1-240-632-4035, or Investors: Will
Roberts, +1-301-527-4358, or John Filler, +1-240-632-4086, all of MedImmune,