News

December 04, 2002
ImmunoGen, Inc. Announces Start of Phase II Study with huN901-DM1 in Patients With Relapsed Small-Cell Lung Cancer

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Dec 4 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- ImmunoGen, Inc. (Nasdaq: IMGN) today announced that British Biotech (LSE: BBG, Nasdaq: BBIOY) is starting the Phase II portion of the Phase I/II study being conducted in the United States with huN901-DM1 (BB-10901), a monoclonal antibody-based chemotherapy agent designed for the treatment of small-cell lung cancer (SCLC).

In the Phase I portion of this study, the maximum tolerated dose was found to be 60 mg/m2 when huN901-DM1 was administered once weekly for four weeks followed by two weeks off treatment. At this dose level and below, toxicities were modest (in particular, no hematologic toxicity was observed) and preliminary evidence of antitumor activity was noted. These findings were presented recently at the "Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics" symposium organized by the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC), the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR).

The Phase II portion of this study will provide an initial evaluation of the efficacy of the 60 mg/m2 dose of huN901-DM1 when administered with this same weekly dosing schedule to patients with relapsed SCLC. The information gained will be used in conjunction with the findings from the Phase I study now underway in the United Kingdom to determine the dosing schedule to be used in anticipated future trials with this product candidate. huN901-DM1 is administered on a more frequent basis in the U.K. study.

huN901-DM1 is a conjugate of the cytotoxic maytansinoid drug, DM1, with the humanized monoclonal antibody, huN901. The drug is designed to selectively kill certain types of cancer cells including those found in small-cell lung cancer tumors. British Biotech acquired rights to develop and commercialize huN901-DM1 for Europe and Japan under an agreement with ImmunoGen in May 2000. ImmunoGen retained commercialization rights for the U.S. and the rest of the world.

About ImmunoGen, Inc.

ImmunoGen, Inc. develops targeted anticancer biopharmaceuticals. The Company's Tumor-Activated Prodrug (TAP) technology uses tumor-targeting antibodies to deliver a highly potent, cell-killing agent specifically to cancer cells. Two ImmunoGen-developed TAP products are in clinical trials: cantuzumab mertansine, which is licensed to GlaxoSmithKline, and huN901-DM1, which is licensed to British Biotech in certain territories. ImmunoGen helps fund its programs by licensing its TAP technology to other companies. Several companies are developing TAP products that use ImmunoGen's TAP technology with the partner's antibody: Boehringer Ingelheim (bivatuzumab mertansine), Millennium (MLN2704), and Genentech (Trastuzumab-DM1). ImmunoGen also has multitarget agreements with Genentech, Abgenix, and Millennium.

For ImmunoGen, Inc.

This press release includes forward-looking statements based on management's current expectations. For these statements, ImmunoGen claims the protection of the safe harbor for forward-looking statements provided by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Various factors could cause the Company's actual results to differ materially from those discussed or implied in the forward-looking statements and you are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which are current only as of the date of this release. Factors that could cause future results to differ materially from such expectations include, but are not limited to: the success of the Company's research and clinical development processes; the difficulties inherent in the development of pharmaceuticals, including uncertainties as to the timing, expense and results of preclinical studies and clinical trials; the Company's dependence upon existing and potential collaborative partners; uncertainty as to whether the Company's potential products or those of the Company's collaborators will succeed in entering human clinical trials and uncertainty as to the results of such trials; the risk that the Company and/or its collaborators may not be able to obtain regulatory approvals necessary to commercialize their product candidates; the potential development by competitors of competing products and technologies; uncertainty whether the Company's TAP technology will produce safe, effective and commercially viable products; and other factors more fully described in ImmunoGen's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2002 and other current reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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