Micromet is Presenting Four Posters on BiTE Antibodies at the International AACR-NCI-EORTC Conference
BETHESDA, Md., October 23, 2007 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Micromet, Inc. , a biopharmaceutical company focusing on the development of novel, proprietary antibody-based products for cancer, inflammation and autoimmune diseases, today announced that data on two antibodies developed using BiTE(R) technology will be reported at the joint international meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), National Cancer Institute (NCI) and European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) being held in San Francisco, CA, from October 22-26. The new findings relate to the mode of action, target biology and therapeutic window for two new BiTE antibodies in pre-clinical development.
BiTE antibodies are T cell recruiting antibodies designed to transiently connect cytotoxic T cells with malignant cancer cells, which has been shown to result in the eradication of cancer cells. The four posters report on the EpCAM (CD326)-specific BiTE antibody MT110, and on a novel BiTE antibody which targets melanoma-associated chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan (MCSP). MT110 is being developed for the treatment of a variety of adeno and squamous cell carcinoma which overexpress EpCAM, while the BiTE antibody which binds to MCSP is being developed for the treatment of metastatic melanoma and other cancers expressing MCSP.
The first poster presentation shows that BiTE antibodies which target the cancer associated antigen MCSP are highly active against melanoma cells by recruiting T cells for efficient tumor cell lysis in vitro (abstract A61). This poster has been selected for inclusion in AACR's press briefing activities.
Data included in a second poster presentation suggest a key functional role for EpCAM - the tumor associated antigen targeted by MT110 - in tumor biology. In collaboration with Olivier Gires, Ph.D. at the University Clinic of Munich in Grosshadern, Germany, it was discovered that EpCAM signals into the cell nucleus via pathways known to control the expression of proto- oncogenes (abstract C175). This establishes EpCAM as a signal transducer of cancer cells and explains how EpCAM induces cell proliferation and oncogene expression. EpCAM is found widely expressed on human cancers and is also found on so called 'cancer stem cells' from colon, pancreas, prostate and breast tumors.
In a third poster presentation, a BiTE antibody related to MT110 has shown therapeutic activity in mice with very significant tumor inhibition at well tolerated doses (abstract C270). These data suggest that EpCAM-specific BiTE antibodies can distinguish between EpCAM expressed on tumor cells and EpCAM that is expressed on healthy epithelial cells. The mode of tumor cell lysis of MT110 was found to be largely dependent on the pore-forming protein perforin, which is upregulated and then targeted by cytotoxic T cells activated by BiTE antibodies targeted at EpCAM (abstract C267).
"MT110 is expected to be the second BiTE antibody in clinical development and our first BiTE antibody targeting solid tumors," commented Patrick Baeuerle, the Chief Scientific Officer of Micromet. "With the BiTE antibody binding to MCSP, we hope to address the high medical need of patients suffering from melanoma, a disease where T cell-based therapies have already shown activity. Moreover, the research reported supports our understanding of the potent, highly specific and controlled mode of action of BiTE antibodies."
All of these abstracts can be viewed on the AACR website at www.aacr.org.
About Micromet, Inc. (www.micromet-inc.com)
Micromet, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company developing novel, proprietary antibodies for the treatment of cancer, inflammation and autoimmune diseases. Three of its antibodies are in clinical development. MT103 (MEDI-538), the first antibody developed utilizing the BiTE(R) technology platform to be clinically validated in Micromet's product pipeline, is being evaluated in a phase 1 clinical trial for the treatment of patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. BiTE antibodies represent a new class of antibodies that activate a patient's own cytotoxic T cells to eliminate cancer cells. Micromet is developing MT103 in collaboration with MedImmune, a subsidiary of AstraZeneca plc. The second clinical stage antibody is adecatumumab (MT201), a human monoclonal antibody targeting EpCAM expressing tumors. Adecatumumab is being developed by Micromet in collaboration with Merck Serono in a phase 1b clinical trial evaluating MT201 in combination with docetaxel for the treatment of patients with metastatic breast cancer. The third clinical stage antibody is MT293 (formerly D93), also known as TRC093, a first-in-class humanized monoclonal antibody that inhibits angiogenesis and tumor cell growth by binding cleaved collagen. MT293, which is currently being tested in a phase 1 clinical trial, is licensed to TRACON Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and is being developed for the treatment of patients with cancer and age- related macular degeneration. In addition, Micromet has established a collaboration with Nycomed for the development and commercialization of MT203, Micromet's human antibody neutralizing the activity of granulocyte/macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF), which has potential applications in the treatment of various inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, or multiple sclerosis.
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Posted: October 2007