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Peregrine Pharmaceuticals Reports Studies Published in 'Science' Highlight Key Role of Phosphatidylserine (PS) in Viral Infections
Date:5/13/2008

development for the treatment of certain viral diseases and cancer. It is the first in a new class of targeted anti-PS immunotherapeutics that binds to phosphatidylserine, a specific component of certain cellular membranes. PS is normally present only on the inside of cell membranes, but becomes exposed on the external surface of enveloped viruses and the cells they infect. Enveloped viruses are responsible for about half of all human viral diseases, including HCV, influenza, HIV, cytomegalovirus and other virus strains. Scientists believe that bavituximab helps block the ability of viruses to infect cells and also helps stimulate the body's natural immune defenses to destroy both the virus particles and infected cells. Since the PS targeted by bavituximab is primarily exposed on diseased cells, healthy cells should not be affected.

In preclinical studies, bavituximab has demonstrated the ability to bind to a wide range of enveloped viruses and virally infected cells and has shown promising activity in animal models of serious viral diseases. Bavituximab appeared well tolerated with no dose limiting adverse events and showed encouraging signs of antiviral activity as monotherapy in two Phase I trials in patients with chronic hepatitis C viral infection. A clinical trial in patients co-infected with HCV and HIV is now underway, and additional studies in HCV patients are planned. Similar to their proposed anti-viral mechanism, anti-PS antibodies also bind to phosphatidylserine exposed on tumor blood vessels in all solid cancers tested to date. Bavituximab demonstrated promising signs of anti-tumor activity in a Phase l trial in combination with chemotherapy in patients with advanced solid tumors, and Phase II cancer trials are underway.

1. Vaccinia Virus Uses Macropinocytosis and Apoptotic Mimicry to Enter Host Cells, Jason Mercer and Ari Helenius* Science 25 April 2008: Vol. 320. no. 5875, pp. 531 - 535

2. Role of C. elegans TAT-1 Protein in Main
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SOURCE Peregrine Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
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