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Last Updated: Nov 17th, 2006 - 22:35:04

Melanoma Channel
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Latest Research : Cancer : Skin : Melanoma

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CR011: An Antibody-Drug Conjugate Shows Durable Effects in Animal Models of Melanoma
Apr 18, 2005, 09:10, Reviewed by: Dr.

"Antibody-drug conjugates represent a novel approach to utilize potent chemotherapeutic agents and deliver them directly to cancer cells. The activity of CR011 against melanoma in preclinical studies is compelling. Metastatic melanoma is an aggressive disease and the current treatments are inadequate, therefore, there is a significant need for promising therapeutics that could benefit this patient population."

 
CuraGen Corporation (Nasdaq: CRGN - News) announced today that new preclinical data on CR011, one of the oncology products being developed by the Company, were presented at the 96th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in Anaheim, CA. Preclinical data on CR011, an antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) that is expected to enter clinical trials in the first half of 2006, demonstrated that it caused tumor regression in animal xenograft models of melanoma.

In a poster, entitled "CR011, a potent fully-human monoclonal antibody- monomethylauristatin E conjugated pro-drug targeting melanoma," it was reported that CR011 selectively binds to GPNMB, a protein highly expressed on the surface of melanoma cells.

Furthermore, in xenograft models of melanoma, treatment with CR011 caused significant improvements in survival, including complete and durable tumor regression, without any notable toxicity or weight loss. This data will be further explored in clinical trials, which are expected to begin during the first half of 2006.

"Antibody-drug conjugates represent a novel approach to utilize potent chemotherapeutic agents and deliver them directly to cancer cells," stated Mario Sznol, M.D., Head of the Melanoma Program at the Yale University School of Medicine. "The activity of CR011 against melanoma in preclinical studies is compelling. Metastatic melanoma is an aggressive disease and the current treatments are inadequate, therefore, there is a significant need for promising therapeutics that could benefit this patient population."

"The preclinical data presented at AACR on CR011, which combines the specificity of a fully-human monoclonal antibody to target a specific protein located on certain cancer cells and the power of a potent cytotoxic agent, suggests that this therapeutic kills melanoma cells and is able to induce a cure in xenografts models," stated William F. Hahne, M.D., Vice President of Clinical Development. "We look forward to fully exploring the safety and anti-tumor activity of CR011 as a potential treatment for patients with metastatic melanoma. This clinical program is scheduled to begin in the first half of 2006."

About CR011

CR011 is an antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) that utilizes technology licensed from Seattle Genetics to attach potent cell-killing payloads to a fully-human monoclonal antibody being developed by CuraGen that was generated by Abgenix's Xenomouse® technology.

CR011 is designed to be stable in the bloodstream. It targets and binds to GPNMB that is located on the surface of cancer cells. After the ADC binds to the protein and is transported into the cell, the drug payload is released from the fully-human monoclonal antibody once it is activated inside the cancer cell.

Preclinical studies conducted with this potential therapeutic demonstrate that CR011 produces strong, reproducible and durable effects against cancer in animal models of melanoma.

About Melanoma

Melanoma is a very serious form of skin cancer that accounts for the majority of skin-cancer related deaths each year. The number of people diagnosed with melanoma worldwide is rapidly increasing with more than 53,000 new cases diagnosed annually in the U.S. While the chance of developing melanoma increases with age, it remains one of the most common cancers in young adults.

This type of cancer begins in specific cells in the skin and can metastasize, or spread, throughout the body to many organ systems. No significant advances in the treatment of metastatic melanoma have occurred over the past 30 years. Patients with stage 4 metastatic melanoma have a median survival of 6 - 9 months.
 

- The data were presented at the 96th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in Anaheim, CA.
 

www.curagen.com

 
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About CuraGen

CuraGen Corporation (Nasdaq: CRGN - News) is a genomics-based pharmaceutical company dedicated to improving the lives of patients by developing a pipeline of novel protein, antibody, and small molecule therapeutics in the areas of oncology, inflammatory diseases, and diabetes. CuraGen has established broad development alliances with Abgenix, TopoTarget, and Bayer, and its experienced preclinical and clinical teams are advancing the Company's pipeline of products for unmet medical needs. The Company is headquartered in New Haven and Branford, CT. For additional information please visit http://www.curagen.com.

Safe Harbor

This press release may contain forward-looking statements, including statements about our expectation that clinical trials of CR011 will begin in the first half of 2006 and that we will be exploring the safety and anti-tumor activity of CR011 as a treatment for patients with metastatic melanoma. Such statements are based on management's current expectations and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements. CuraGen cautions investors that there can be no assurance that actual results or business conditions will not differ materially from those projected or suggested in such forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, including, but not limited to, the following: CuraGen's stage of development as a genomics-based pharmaceutical company, uncertainties of clinical trials, government regulation and healthcare reform, technological uncertainty and product development risks, product liability exposure, uncertainty of additional funding, CuraGen's history of incurring losses and the uncertainty of achieving profitability, reliance on research collaborations and strategic alliances, competition, patent infringement claims against CuraGen's products, processes and technologies, CuraGen's ability to protect its patents and proprietary rights and uncertainties relating to commercialization rights. Please refer to our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the period ended December 31, 2004 for a description of these risks. We disclaim any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise, unless required by law.


Contact:
Glenn Schulman, Pharm.D.
Marketing & Investor Relations
[email protected]
1-888-GENOMICS


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