Sanofi-aventis' Phase I clinical trial with SAR650984 triggers $1M milestone payment to ImmunoGen

ImmunoGen, Inc. (Nasdaq: IMGN), a biotechnology company that develops targeted antibody-based anticancer products, today announced that sanofi-aventis has initiated a Phase I clinical trial with SAR650984, an investigational antibody that targets cancer cells expressing the CD38 protein antigen. This event triggers a $1 million milestone payment to ImmunoGen.

Developed under a research collaboration between ImmunoGen and sanofi-aventis, SAR650984 is being evaluated as a potential treatment for a number of hematological (blood) tumors, including acute and chronic lymphocytic leukemia, acute and chronic myeloid leukemia, multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

In preclinical testing, SAR650984 has been found to be an effective anticancer agent. Of particular note, it has been found to have potent antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC), complement-dependent cytotoxicity (CDC), and apoptotic activity (achievement of programmed cell death).

John Lambert, PhD, Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer, commented, "ImmunoGen has extensive capabilities in the development and evaluation of antibodies - both for use as anticancer agents on their own as 'naked antibodies', like SAR650984, and as part of TAP compounds. SAR650984 killed cancer cells through three different mechanisms - ADCC, CDC, and apoptosis - in our preclinical models. We believe this compound may provide unique benefits in the treatment of a number of hematological malignancies."

SAR650984 is being evaluated in a Phase I, dose-escalation trial to establish its maximum tolerated dose and dose-limiting toxicities. Patients with certain types of relapsed/refractory CD38+ hematological malignancies are eligible for enrollment, including B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, multiple myeloma, acute myeloid leukemia, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and chronic lymphocytic leukemia.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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