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NewLink Genetics to Present Phase 2 Data on HyperAcute(R)-Pancreas Immunotherapy at the American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting
Date:5/20/2010

AMES, Iowa, May 20 /PRNewswire/ -- NewLink Genetics Corporation today announced that preliminary data from its Phase 2 clinical trial evaluating the effect of HyperAcute®-Pancreas immunotherapy in patients with resected pancreatic cancer will be presented during a poster session at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2010 Annual Meeting held June 4-8, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. A summary of the company's ASCO presentation is below.

Hyperacute immunotherapy in addition to standard adjuvant therapy for resected pancreatic cancer improves disease-free and overall survival: preliminary analysis of phase 2 data

  • General poster session: Sunday, June 6, 2010, 2:00 p.m.6:00 p.m. Central Time (CT)
  • Abstract # 54004 (poster board # 20F)
  • First Author: Dr. Jeffrey M. Hardacre, University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Cleveland, Ohio

About HyperAcute Cancer Immunotherapy

In transplants of human organs such as the kidneys or heart, recipients are at risk of rejecting donor organs because of immune system reactions directed against the foreign tissue. That immune response is dramatically stronger if non-primate organs, for example, pig hearts, are transplanted into primates, largely because lower animals express sugar molecules on their cell surfaces that are not expressed in humans. The sugar epitopes, known as alpha(1,3)-galactosyl, or alpha-Gal residues, are powerful antigens that cause a rapid, hyperacute rejection response whenever foreign tissues bearing it are introduced into the human body. This inate response rapidly destroys transplanted cells and tissues. NewLink's HyperAcute immunotherapy exploits this hyperacute antigen-antibody response to educate a patient's immune system to attack and destroy the patient's own unmodified cancer cells.

The company's HyperAcute products are composed of irradiated, allogeneic (off the shelf), whole cancer cells that have been genetically modified to add alpha-Gal residues to cell-surface lipids and proteins. The alpha-Gal epitopes function as a molecular adjuvant, effectively harnessing this xenotransplant rejection mechanism.

About HyperAcute-Pancreas Immunotherapy

HyperAcute-Pancreas immunotherapy consists of two equal cell doses of allogeneic pancreatic cancer cell lines engineered to express the murine alpha-Gal gene. Although cells making up naturally occurring pancreatic tumors in patients do not express alpha-Gal, they are expected to share other molecules including tumor-specific and tumor-associated antigens, with the genetically altered pancreatic cancer cells introduced by the immunotherapy. Those similarities are believed to allow the antibodies and immune cells targeting alpha-Gal to redirect the patient's immune system to attack and destroy the patients' own tumor cells.

About NewLink Genetics Corporation

NewLink Genetics Corporation is a biopharmaceutical company applying innovative technologies to create new therapeutic agents for patients with cancer and infectious diseases. Its products are designed to enhance the patient's immune system, enabling the body's immune cells to target pathogens and diseased tissues. For more information please visit us at http://www.linkp.com/.


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