BETHESDA, Md., April 8 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Micromet, Inc. (Nasdaq: MITI), a biopharmaceutical company developing novel, proprietary antibodies for the treatment of cancer, inflammation and autoimmune diseases, today announced the publication of data in the peer-reviewed Journal of Immunotherapy (1) demonstrating the potent anti-tumor activity of a BiTE antibody binding to carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) and to CD3 on T cells. Micromet and MedImmune are jointly developing MT111/MEDI-565, a CEA-specific BiTE, which is in pre-clinical development.
CEA, also called CD66e or CEACAM5, was selected as target antigen for development of a new BiTE antibody program because CEA is widely expressed on the surface of human carcinoma cells. In its soluble form, CEA serves as a marker in patients' blood for progression of colorectal and other forms of solid cancers. Conventional CEA-targeting antibodies can be blocked by soluble CEA and prevented from binding to CEA on the surface of cancer cells, thereby limiting antibody efficacy. The new study shows that novel BiTE antibodies have strong activity against CEA-expressing cancer cells in vitro and in animals, even in the presence of high levels of soluble CEA.
"Our new publication demonstrates not only that BiTE antibodies can be designed to bind to well established target antigens of conventional monoclonal antibodies, but also that BiTE antibodies have features that improve on the properties of conventional antibodies," commented Micromet's Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Patrick A. Baeuerle. "Many target antigens for cancer therapy are released by cancer cells into the blood stream, a process called shedding. The example of the CEA-specific BiTE antibody suggests that high levels of shed antigens may not pose a limitation for the anti-tumor activity of BiTE antibodies."
(1)Lutterbuese, R. et al. (2009). Potent control of tumor growth by CEA/CD3- bispecific single-chain antibody constructs that are not competitively inhibited by soluble CEA. Journal of Immunotherapy, April 1, 2009 [epub ahead of print]
About BiTE Antibodies
BiTE(R) antibodies are designed to direct the body's cytotoxic, or cell- destroying, T cells against tumor cells, and represent a new therapeutic approach to cancer therapy. Typically antibodies cannot engage T cells because T cells lack the appropriate receptors for binding antibodies. Previous attempts have shown the potential of T cells to treat cancer, but the therapeutic approaches tested to date have been hampered by cancer cells' ability to escape recognition by T cells. The use of BiTE antibodies that are specifically designed to engage T cells for attacking cancer cells may provide a more effective anti-tumor approach than conventional monoclonal antibodies.
About Micromet, Inc.
Micromet, Inc. (www.micromet-inc.com) is a biopharmaceutical company with offices in Bethesda, MD and Munich, Germany. The Company is focused on developing novel, proprietary antibodies for the treatment of cancer, inflammation and autoimmune diseases. The Company's novel antibody technology is based on its proprietary BiTE(R) antibody platform, representing a new class of antibodies that specifically activate T cells from the patient's own immune system to eliminate cancer cells or other disease related cells. Four of the Company's antibodies are currently in clinical trials, with the remainder of its product pipeline in preclinical development. The Company's lead program is a BiTE antibody known as blinatumomab, or MT103. It is in a phase 2 clinical trial for the treatment of patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and a phase 1 clinical trial for the treatment of patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Micromet's second BiTE antibody in clinical development is MT110, which targets the epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM). The Company owns all rights to MT110, which is currently in a phase 1 clinical trial for the treatment of patients with solid tumors. The Company's third clinical stage antibody is adecatumumab, also known as MT201, a traditional human monoclonal antibody that targets EpCAM-expressing solid tumors. Micromet is developing adecatumumab in collaboration with Merck Serono in a phase 1b clinical trial evaluating adecatumumab in combination with docetaxel for the treatment of patients with metastatic breast cancer. Micromet licensed a fourth clinical stage antibody, MT293, to TRACON Pharmaceuticals, Inc. MT293 is being developed in a phase 1 clinical trial for the treatment of patients with cancer. The Company's preclinical programs include MT203 being developed in collaboration with Nycomed. MT203 is a traditional human antibody neutralizing the activity of granulocyte/macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF), which has potential applications in the treatment of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, or multiple sclerosis. Micromet has granted an exclusive option to Bayer Schering Pharma AG to license a BiTE antibody against an undisclosed solid tumor target. Additional BiTE antibodies, targeting CEA, CD33, Her2, EGFR and MCSP, respectively, are in different stages of preclinical development.
This release contains certain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to be materially different from historical results or from any future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements include statements regarding the efficacy and intended utilization of our product candidates and the development of our BiTE antibody technology. You are urged to consider statements that include the words "may," "potential," or the negative of those words or other similar words to be uncertain and forward-looking. Factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from any future results expressed or implied by any forward-looking statements include the risk that product candidates that appeared promising in early research, preclinical studies or clinical trials do not demonstrate safety and/or efficacy in subsequent clinical trials, the risk that encouraging results from early research, preclinical studies or clinical trials may not be confirmed upon further analysis of the detailed results of such research, preclinical study or clinical trial, and the risk that additional information relating to the safety, efficacy or tolerability of our product candidates may be discovered upon further analysis of preclinical or clinical trial data. These factors and others are more fully discussed in Micromet's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2008, filed with the SEC on March 16, 2009, as well as other filings by the company with the SEC.
Any forward-looking statements are made pursuant to Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and, as such, speak only as of the date made. Micromet, Inc. undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
|SOURCE Micromet, Inc.|
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