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The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and Memgen Announce New Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Clinical Trial
Date:12/3/2008

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., Dec. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) and Memgen, LLC jointly announce the beginning of a new clinical trial of ISF35, a cancer vaccine, at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD).

LLS is collaborating on this trial in the hopes that it will speed the development and approval of a novel approach aimed at treating patients with fludarabine refractory and/or 17p deleted chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).

Doctors at UCSD have already begun treating the first patient with ISF35. They plan to enroll up to twelve patients. These patients will receive a vaccine expressing an immune-boosting molecule, ISF35 (Immune Stimulatory Factor 35), followed by three courses of rituximab plus the chemotherapy drugs fludarabine and cyclophosphamide (FCR).

"This clinical study builds upon three previous trials already completed at M.D. Anderson and here at UCSD," said Januario E. Castro, M.D., assistant clinical professor at the UCSD School of Medicine and the Moores Cancer Center, who leads the work. "Those trials showed remarkable results for ISF35 in patients with high risk and treatment-resistant CLL. Most importantly, ISF35 was well-tolerated with only minimal side effects, reduced CLL cells and lymph nodes in nearly every patient, and when combined with chemotherapy produced complete or partial remissions in patients with 17p deleted CLL."

"There is a clear unmet medical need for new therapies to treat refractory or relapsed CLL, and in particular 17p- patients," said Louis J. DeGennaro, Ph.D., LLS's chief scientific officer. "Our goal is to bring new treatment options to these patients quickly."

For more information about participating in this clinical trial, contact Denise Darrah, at the Moores UCSD Cancer Center, 858-822-5375, or ddarrah@ucsd.edu or the LLS Information Resource Center at (800) 955-4572, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET.

About Memgen, LLC

Memgen is a clinical stage biotechnology company with offices in Dallas and San Diego. Memgen was founded four years ago to develop non-toxic and targeted active immunotherapies for the treatment of cancers. Its lead product, ISF35, has demonstrated potent anti-leukemic activity as a single agent and is well-tolerated. ISF35 generates none of the immunosuppressive activities associated with standard cancer treatments.

For more information about Memgen, visit www.memgenbio.com.

About The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society(R), headquartered in White Plains, NY, with 68 chapters in the United States and Canada, is the world's largest voluntary health organization dedicated to funding blood cancer research and providing education and patient services. The LLS mission: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. Since its founding in 1949, LLS has invested more than $600 million in research specifically targeting leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma. Last year alone, LLS made 5.1 million contacts with patients, caregivers and healthcare professionals.

For more information about blood cancer, visit www.LLS.org or call the LLS Information Resource Center (IRC), a call center staffed by master's level social workers, nurses and health educators who provide information, support and resources to patients and their families and caregivers. IRC information specialists are available at (800) 955-4572, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET.

    LLS Contact: Andrea Greif
    914.821.8958
    andrea.greif@lls.org


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SOURCE The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
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