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NEORX/GENENTECH ONCOLOGY R&D COLLABORATIVE AGREEMENT

Executive Summary

NEORX/GENENTECH ONCOLOGY R&D COLLABORATIVE AGREEMENT announced May 1 involves Genentech's HER-2/neu proto-oncogene monoclonal antibodies in combination with NeoRx's radiotherapy and tricothecene drug technologies. The aim of the collaborative arrangement is to create MAb-guided or "targeted drug therapies and/or radiotherapy," Seattle-based NeoRx said in a press release. The HER-2 oncoprotein has been found in about one-third of all cases of breast and ovarian cancer. Women expressing the HER-2 gene have been found to have earlier disease recurrence and shortened overall survival ("The Pink Sheet" Nov. 6, T&G-6). Genentech began Phase I trials of a monoclonal antibody targeted against the HER-2 oncogene in 20 breast and ovarian cancer patients at the University of California at Los Angeles in April ("The Pink Sheet" April 8, In Brief). Under the non-exclusive, one-year deal, Genentech can still work on HER-2 conjugates with other parties, and NeoRx can use its proprietary technology to develop conjugates for other MAbs. NeoRx trials of its tricothecene technology have shown that the drugs can treat chemotherapy-resistant human tumors established in nude mice. Trichothecenes "kill cells by shutting off protein synthesis," NeoRx explained. The company's Phase I trials of rhenium-186 radionuclides conjugated to MAbs has demonstrated much lower toxicity compared to non-conjugated radionuclides.
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PS019120

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