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VESTAR's RADIOPHARMACEUTICAL VS101 IS IN PHASE II STUDIES

Executive Summary

VESTAR's RADIOPHARMACEUTICAL VS101 IS IN PHASE II STUDIES for gamma imaging of malignant tumors, the Pasadena, Calif.-based development stage company said in a preliminary prospectus. Expected to be Vestar's first commercially available product, the liposome-based gamma imaging agent has been studied in over 100 patients, the prospectus notes. VS101 is used to target the radioisotope Indium 111 to tumors. The current trials are aimed at determining the optimal doses of both liposomes and Indium 111, the company explained. With its liposome-based technology, Vestar says it has developed three "distinct" capabilities: targeting, sustained release, and formulation. "Vestar's proprietary technology enables it to produce liposomes which distribute preferentially to malignant tumors," the prospectus states. Vestar said it also "has successfully encapsulated a broad variety of therapeutic and diagnostic compounds in liposomes while maintaining the desired biological characteristics of both the encapsulated compounds and the liposomes." Vestar has collaborative research agreements to develop liposome-based drug delivery systems for J&J's Ethicon subsidiary and Genentech. Vestar is developing a post-surgical wound healing agent for Ethicon and is researching a therapeutic protein delivery system for Genentech. Both research projects are in the early stages of development. The prospectus reports that the Ethicon project is moving toward preclinical testing while the delivery system for Genentech is even further back. In the area of cancer-targeted therapeutics, the company is working on projects involving cisplatin, boron and the anthracyclines, daunorubicin and doxorubicin. Daunorubicin, which is ready for pre-clinical animal tests, is further along. While the amount of shares to be offered has yet to be determined, Vestar said it intends to allocate $5 mil. of the net proceeds for product development and commercialization efforts for identified product opportunities, approximately $2.5 mil. for basic research, $1.5 mil. for the leasing and equipping of new research, manufacturing and administrative facilities, and the balance for working capital. The firm's president and chief executive is Roger Crossley, who while at SmithKline was responsible for clinical research and approval of Tagamet, the prospectus notes.

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