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ImmunoGen, Inc. Announces First Data for its Novel Therapeutic for Ovarian Cancer and Other Carcinomas

-- Product candidate on track for IND submission within next twelve months

-- AACR 2011 Program Committee grants special recognition to IMGN853 abstract

WALTHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Apr 4, 2011 - ImmunoGen, Inc. (Nasdaq: IMGN), a biotechnology company that develops targeted anticancer products using its antibody expertise and Targeted Antibody Payload (TAP) technology, today announced the reporting of the first data on the Company's IMGN853 product candidate for the treatment of ovarian cancer and other types of solid tumors. The presentations are being given at the 102nd Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) in Orlando, FL.

IMGN853 is designed to selectively target and kill cancer cells expressing folate receptor 1 (FOLR1). This target is over-expressed on most cases of ovarian cancer as well as on other carcinomas including types of non-small cell lung cancers. IMGN853 was found to be highly effective against human ovarian cancer tumors in preclinical testing. The AACR's 2011 Program Committee recognized the abstract on the IMGN853 in vivo preclinical findings as scoring among the top 2% of abstracts for poster presentations.

IMGN853 is a TAP compound, which means it consists of a tumor-targeting antibody with one of ImmunoGen's highly potent cell-killing agents attached via an engineered linker. The antibody serves to target the TAP compound specifically to cancer cells, and the cell-killing agent serves to destroy these cells.

“We conduct ongoing research to continue to enhance our product development capabilities as well as our product pipeline, and IMGN853 reflects several technological innovations that we've made in recent years,” commented John Lambert, Ph.D., Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer. “For example, we engineered the linker used in IMGN853 to not only be stable like all of our linkers, but also to combat the multidrug resistance that makes certain types of cancers highly difficult to treat. This further increased the activity of IMGN853 in preclinical testing.”

Dr. Lambert continued, “We also continually refine the criteria we use to generate and select antibodies for use in TAP compounds as we identify opportunities to further enhance each compound's therapeutic activity. We evaluated over 100 FOLR1-targeting antibodies in selecting the one used in IMGN853.”

Among the findings being reported are data demonstrating:

 

  • The target for IMGN853 – FOLR1 – is robustly expressed on most ovarian cancers as well as on certain non-small cell lung cancers and other carcinomas. This is based on target quantification methods developed by ImmunoGen scientists (abstract #3617);
  • The design of IMGN853 has been optimized for its target – both in its antibody component and in the novel linker used to attach the highly potent payload to the antibody and control its release inside a cancer cell (abstract #4576); and
  • The IMGN853 product candidate has been found to be highly active against human ovarian cancer tumors in preclinical testing (abstract #1760). This has been designated as a Highly Rated Poster Presentation by the 2011 Program Committee of the AACR.

About IMGN853

IMGN853 is in development for the treatment of ovarian cancer and other carcinomas that over-express folate receptor 1 (FOLR1). This TAP compound consists of a FOLR1-targeting antibody with the Company's proprietary DM4 cancer cell-killing agent attached using a new linker developed by ImmunoGen to combat cancer multidrug resistance. IMGN853 was found to be highly effective against ovarian cancer tumors in preclinical testing and is on track for IND submission in early 2012.

About ImmunoGen, Inc.

ImmunoGen, Inc. develops targeted anticancer therapeutics using the Company's expertise in tumor biology, monoclonal antibodies and potent cancer-cell killing agents. The Company's TAP technology uses monoclonal antibodies to deliver one of ImmunoGen's proprietary cancer-cell killing agents specifically to tumor cells. There are currently seven TAP compounds in the clinic, with a wealth of clinical data reported with the technology. ImmunoGen's collaborative partners include Amgen, Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, Biogen Idec, Biotest, Genentech (a member of the Roche Group), Novartis, and sanofi-aventis. The most advanced compound using ImmunoGen's TAP technology, trastuzumab-DM1 (T-DM1), is in Phase III testing through the Company's collaboration with Genentech. More information about ImmunoGen can be found at www.immunogen.com.

This press release includes forward-looking statements. 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. It should be noted that there are risks and uncertainties related to the development of novel anticancer products, including IMGN853, including risks related to uncertainties around preclinical studies, regulatory submissions and reviews, and their timings and results. A review of these risks can be found in ImmunoGen's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2010 and other reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Contact: For Investors:
ImmunoGen, Inc.
Carol Hausner, 781- 895-0600
Executive Director, Investor Relations and Corporate Communications
info@immunogen.com
or
For Media:
The Yates Network
Barbara Yates, 781-258-6153

 

 

Posted: April 2011

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