XOMA 052 antibody demonstrates potential for treatment of myeloma patients with elevated IL-6 levels

XOMA Ltd. (Nasdaq:XOMA), a leader in the discovery and development of therapeutic antibodies, announced that independent researchers presented results showing that XOMA's antibody to interleukin-1 beta (IL-1 beta), XOMA 052, was highly effective in reducing production of a protein that supports the proliferation of cancerous human myeloma cells in vitro. These results are consistent with a 47 patient clinical trial in early-stage myeloma patients which demonstrated that IL-1 blockade with IL-1 receptor antagonist Kineret® (anakinra) in combination with standard therapy improved progression-free survival. The new data were presented at the 101st Annual Meeting of the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) (Abstract # 2449).

IL-1 beta stimulates the production of interleukin-6 (IL-6), a protein that is a potent growth factor for myeloma cells. XOMA 052 is a high affinity antibody that inhibits IL-1 beta activity. The results presented at the AACR meeting indicated that XOMA 052 reduced IL-1 beta-induced IL-6 production in the myeloma patient samples by more than 85%, which was superior to the effects of the anti-inflammatory drug dexamethasone commonly used to treat myeloma. The reduction with XOMA 052 was greater than 90% in samples from the patients with the highest levels of IL-6 production. The researchers concluded that treatment with an antibody such as XOMA 052 in combination with standard therapy may be useful in myeloma patients who demonstrate elevated IL-6 levels.

"These results provide another example of the broad clinical potential for IL-1 beta targeting with XOMA 052" said Steven B. Engle, XOMA's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "While the focus of our current XOMA 052 clinical development program is on diabetes and cardiovascular disease, we are pleased that results such as those presented today provide additional avenues for exploration through collaborations at leading research and clinical institutions."

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