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Polaris Group Announces Treatment of First Patient in Phase 2 Study of ADI-PEG 20 in Acute Myeloid Leukemia

SAN DIEGO, Nov. 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Polaris Group announced today that the first patient has been dosed in its Phase 2 trial of ADI-PEG 20, arginine deiminase formulated with polyethylene glycol, for the treatment of Relapsed/Refractory Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Polaris Group is conducting clinical trials on ADI-PEG 20 for the treatment of several other indications, including hepatocellular carcinoma. The latter indication is already in a global Phase 3 study.


"Data from our collaborators show that acute myeloid leukemia cells require the amino acid arginine for growth, and that deprivation of arginine by ADI inhibits leukemia cell growth," said John Bomalaski, M.D., Executive Vice President of Medical Affairs at Polaris Group. "Treatment options for patients who have this form of leukemia are limited. We are pleased that the first patient in this trial has been treated with ADI-PEG 20 and we hope that ADI-PEG 20 will be of benefit to patients in this trial."

About ADI-PEG 20
ADI-PEG 20 is a biologic being developed by Polaris Group to treat cancers, especially those carrying a major metabolic defect that renders such cancer cells, unlike normal cells, unable to internally synthesize arginine. Because arginine is one of the 20 amino acids that are essential for protein synthesis and survival of cells, it is believed these cancer cells become dependent upon the external supply of arginine to survive and grow. ADI-PEG 20 is designed to systemically deplete the external supply of arginine, which causes arginine-dependent cancer cells to die while leaving the normal cells unharmed. Multiple cancers have been reported to have a high degree of arginine-dependency.

About Polaris Group
Polaris Group is a privately held biopharmaceutical company that specializes in the research and development of protein drugs to treat cancer and other debilitating diseases. The company's lead therapeutic, ADI-PEG 20, is currently being evaluated in a pivotal Phase 3 trial for hepatocellular carcinoma. Polaris Group is also investigating ADI-PEG 20 as a treatment for other cancers. In addition to the ADI-PEG 20 program, Polaris Group is researching and developing other biotherapeutic agents and is advancing a small molecule drug program that utilizes a rational structure-based approach to design novel compounds that inhibit the biological function of cancer-related protein targets.

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