- Company advances oral antagonist of CCR9, a chemokine receptor believed
to play a critical role in Crohn's disease -
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., March 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: MLNM) today announced the advancement of MLN3126, a new product candidate, from the Company's discovery engine to its development pipeline. MLN3126 is a selective antagonist of CCR9, a chemokine receptor known to be important in the migration of inflammatory cells into the gastrointestinal tract. Along with MLN0002, an antibody targeting the alpha4beta7 integrin, MLN3126 expands the Company's inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) franchise. MLN0002 already has demonstrated the ability to induce clinical remission in patients with ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease and is expected to enter pivotal Phase III trials in late 2008 or early 2009 in both indications.
"The development of MLN3126 leverages our knowledge and experience in the area of IBD, a key focus area for Millennium," said Deborah Dunsire, M.D., Chief Executive Officer, Millennium. "Building on our scientific knowledge and broad patent estate in the area of chemokines, we have identified a product candidate that is differentiated from others in this field and potentially could benefit the millions of patients afflicted with Crohn's worldwide."
"We are delighted to move forward some very promising molecules in IBD. In addition to the positive direction of MLN3126, preliminary results from bridging studies with MLN0002 from our new commercially scalable cell line show favorable pharmacokinetic, pharmacodynamic and safety profiles," said Nancy Simonian, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, Millennium. "These results are exciting for Millennium and IBD patients as MLN0002 is one of only a few novel product candidates being tested as alternatives to anti-TNF and other immunosuppressive therapies for the disease."
In pre-clinical models, MLN3126 has shown to be potent and selective in vitro and active as an orally administered molecule in an animal model of IBD. The molecule is expected to enter Phase I clinical trials in early 2009.
IBD is the general name for a group of chronic disorders that cause inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract. Disorders include ulcerative Colitis and Crohn's disease.
About Crohn's Disease
Crohn's disease can affect any part of the GI tract, although it mainly presents itself in the small bowel. In Crohn's, the disease most commonly affects just the small intestine (40%), though it can often affect both the small and large intestine (colon) (30%) and in other cases just the colon (30%).
Crohn's disease affects up to 150 people per 100,000 inhabitants, and is most commonly diagnosed in the 15 to 25 year-old age groups. Recent statistics appear to indicate a rise in the number of new cases. About 15 to 20 per cent of people with Crohn's disease have a close relative with some form of IBD, suggesting a genetic predisposition in these patients.
Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a leading biopharmaceutical company based in Cambridge, Mass., markets VELCADE, a novel cancer product, and has a robust clinical development pipeline of product candidates. Millennium's research, development and commercialization activities are focused in two therapeutic areas: oncology and inflammation. By applying its knowledge of the human genome, understanding of disease mechanisms and industrialized drug discovery platform, Millennium is developing an exciting pipeline of innovative product candidates. Millennium's website is http://www.millennium.com.
This press release contains "forward-looking statements," including statements about the Company's growth, discovery and development of products. Various important risks may cause the Company's actual results to differ materially from the results indicated by these forward-looking statements, including: adverse results in its drug discovery and clinical development programs; failure to obtain patent protection for its discoveries; commercial limitations imposed by patents owned or controlled by third parties; the Company's dependence upon strategic alliance partners to develop and commercialize products and services based on its work; difficulties or delays in obtaining regulatory approvals to market products and services resulting from its development efforts; product withdrawals; competitive factors; difficulties or delays in manufacturing the Company's products; government and third-party reimbursement rates; the commercial success of VELCADE and INTEGRILIN(R) (eptifibatide) Injection; achieving revenue consistent with internal forecasts; and the requirement for substantial funding to conduct research and development and to expand commercialization activities. For a further list and description of the risks and uncertainties the Company faces, see the reports it has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Company disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward- looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Editors' Note: This press release is also available under the Media section of the Company's website at: http://www.millennium.com.
Kyle Kuvalanka (investors) Jennifer Snyder (media)
(617) 761-4734 (617) 444-1439
|SOURCE Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc.|
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