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Investigational Compound Offers Novel Anti-IGF Approach To Inhibit Growth of Cancer Cells

GAITHERSBURG, Md., Jan. 20, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- MedImmune's Oncology group announced today preclinical results showing that MEDI-573, a targeted monoclonal antibody, broadly suppresses pathways that have been shown to play a critical role in the development and progression of many solid tumors. The study, published in the February 1 issue of Cancer Research (a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research), suggests that MEDI-573 inhibits multiple biological pathways related to cancer.  

MEDI-573 is the only human monoclonal antibody (MAb) currently under clinical development that neutralizes both insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-I and IGF-II, growth hormones that regulate cell growth, survival, differentiation, and transformation (i.e., the process of acquiring cancerous characteristics). This MedImmune compound specifically inhibits IGF signaling through two important pathways: IGF-1R and IR-A (insulin receptor isoform A). Unlike the other IGF-1R-targeting MAbs in development that target only IGF-1R, MEDI-573 neutralizes both the receptors IGF-1R and IR-A as well as their hybrid receptors.  In addition, MEDI-573 spares the insulin receptor isoform B (IR-B), which interacts with insulin and is crucial for the metabolism of glucose – the body's main source of energy. Therapies that affect IR-B have been shown to raise or drop blood sugar levels, both of which can cause serious health problems. Preliminary data from MedImmune's first-time-in-human study suggest that MEDI-573 does not alter glucose homeostasis.

"MEDI-573 represents an innovative approach for the treatment of solid tumors with the potential for greater and more consistent inhibition of cancer cell growth than treatments that only target one pathway," said Jin Gao, Ph.D., Scientist II in Oncology Research at MedImmune and lead author of the study.  "The data from our pre-clinical studies are highly promising.  Ongoing studies in humans will provide us with a better understanding of the clinical impact of MEDI-573."

This in vivo study demonstrates that MEDI-573 inhibited the activity of IGF signaling pathways in mice implanted with two different tumor cell lines, C32 and P12.  In this study, 86% and 91% tumor growth inhibition (TGI) was achieved in mice treated with 30 or 60 mg/kg MEDI-573, respectively.

In addition, the study found that using 18F-FDG-PET imaging (fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography) may provide a non-invasive way to monitor treatment response within a few days of starting treatment, prior to documented reductions in the tumor size.

About MEDI-573 (Anti-IGF MAb)

IGF signaling pathways play an important role in the development and progression of many solid tumors.  Disruption of IGF signaling pathways by neutralizing IGF-I and IGF-II ligands enables broader suppression of the IGF system and is a novel strategy for the treatment of solid tumors.  MEDI-573 is a dual-targeting fully human monoclonal antibody that neutralizes IGF-I and IGF-II ligands. In preclinical studies, this neutralization was shown to block IGF-1R, IGF-1R/ IR-A hybrid and IR-A signaling, which inhibited cancer cell growth.  MEDI-573 is in phase 1 clinical evaluation in patients with advanced solid tumors and is planned to begin phase 2 studies this year.

About MedImmune

MedImmune, the worldwide biologics business for AstraZeneca PLC (LSE: AZN.L, NYSE: AZN), has approximately 3,500 employees worldwide and is headquartered in Gaithersburg, Maryland. With an advancing pipeline of promising drug candidates, MedImmune strives to deliver life-changing products, a rewarding career to our employees and a tireless commitment to improving patient health. For more information, visit MedImmune's website at

SOURCE MedImmune
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