Baxter commences anti-MIF antibody Phase I trial in malignant solid tumors

Baxter International Inc. (NYSE:BAX) today announced that the company has begun dosing patients with malignant solid tumors in a Phase I clinical trial of a monoclonal antibody, representing the company's efforts to extend its oncology portfolio with advanced biological research and development.

The candidate is a fully-human, recombinant anti-MIF (anti-macrophage migration inhibitory factor) monoclonal antibody with potential to be a new therapeutic agent in treatment of cancer. Monoclonal antibodies target a specific antigen in the body rather than traditional, systemic regimens. The anti-MIF antibody targets the MIF protein, a protein that induces inflammatory responses in the body and that has also been shown to influence the growth and spread of tumors. By inhibiting the cancer-promoting effects of MIF, the anti-MIF antibody may be capable of restricting the growth of tumors.

''This research program leverages Baxter's scientific expertise in systemic oncology therapies and leadership in biologics, and further reinforces our commitment of supporting patients with life-threatening conditions,'' said Ludwig Hantson, Ph.D., president of Baxter's BioScience business.

The Phase I, open label study is designed to assess the safety, tolerability and optimal dose of the antibody in up to 44 adult patients with malignant solid tumors. The ''all-comers'' design of the single-agent trial will allow for expedited accrual of patients and evaluation of safety and potential therapeutic activity in patients with varied solid tumor types. The study will also investigate pharmacokinetics (how the body absorbs and distributes the compound) and changes in levels of markers that indicate anti-tumor activity.

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Baxter International Inc.        

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