Tarvacin(TM) to be evaluated for the treatment of Lassa fever
Jul 31, 2005 - 11:01:38 PM

Peregrine Pharmaceuticals Inc. has announced that it has signed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) for Material Transfer with the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) to evaluate the potential therapeutic application of Tarvacin(TM) to treat hemorrhagic diseases resulting from Ebola and Marburg viral infections. Under the agreement, Peregrine will supply Tarvacin(TM), its lead anti-phospholipid therapy agent, for in vitro and in vivo animal studies developed by the USAMRIID under the direction of Thomas W. Geisbert, M.D., Chief, Department of Viral Pathology and Ultrastructure at USAMRIID, Fort Detrick, MD.

"We are very pleased to be able to work with the group at USAMRIID to further explore possible anti-viral biodefense applications of Tarvacin(TM)," said David Sherris, Ph.D., Peregrine's head of business development. "This agreement will allow us to expand on the promising results previously generated using Tarvacin(R) to treat a model of another hemorrhagic fever known as Lasssa fever."

Recent data presented at the Biotechnology Industry Organization 2005 annual meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania showed that Tarvacin(TM) binds to enveloped virus particles representing 6 different virus families and binds to virally infected cells. The data also showed that Tarvacin(TM) provided significant protection against Cytomegalovirus (CMV) and Pichinde virus (an in vivo Lassa fever model) infections. In April of 2005, Peregrine and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) entered into a collaborative effort to screen Tarvacin(TM) for activity both in vitro and in vivo against a variety of enveloped viruses of health and bioterrorism concern including Hepatitis B and C, HIV, influenza and SARS.

Peregrine received FDA approval to begin a Tarvacin(TM) Phase I clinical trial in Hepatitis C infected patients in late May 2005. Peregrine is continuing to evaluate Tarvacin(TM) for the treatment of a variety of viral infections that could lead to additional therapeutic indications in this area. In addition, Peregrine is currently recruiting cancer patients in a Tarvacin(TM) Phase I clinical trial at multiple clinical sites in the United States.

About Tarvacin(TM)

Anti-Phospholipid Therapy is Peregrine's novel approach to treating cancer, viral infections and certain other diseases. It is based on the finding that aminophospholipids, which are basic components of the inner surface of the cellular membrane, become exposed in certain disease states. Tarvacin(TM) is a chimeric monoclonal antibody that binds to the phospholipid, phosphatidylserine and is part of Peregrine's Anti-Phospholipid Therapy platform. Tarvacin(TM) binds directly to tumor blood vessels to inhibit growth and development of solid tumors. Tarvacin(TM) has also shown promise in the treatment of viral infections and is expected to recognize a broad spectrum of enveloped viral types. Tarvacin(TM) is currently being evaluated for the treatment of both cancer and viral diseases. Peregrine has received FDA approval to initiate two separate Phase 1 clinical trials in advanced solid cancer and chronic Hepatitis C virus indications.

About Enveloped Viruses

A large number of viruses significant to global health and security possess an "envelope" derived from their host cell membrane. The outer shell of the virus is known as the viral envelope. Since viruses lack the means to maintain structural organization of the envelope, amino-phospholipids such as phosphatidylserine (PS) and phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) become exposed on the surface of these viruses, making them a potential therapeutic target. Peregrine Pharmaceuticals, together with its collaborators, has developed a series of monoclonal antibodies, including Tarvacin(TM), directed against aminophospholipids to take advantage of this property.

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