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With Bone Marrow Transplants Rising, New Therapy Gives Hope to Those Over 55
Date:1/8/2014

NEW YORK, Jan. 8, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Bone marrow transplants are a $1.3 billion market and the fastest-growing hospital procedure in the U.S. They are the only potential cure for many blood cancers such as acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in older patients. The procedure is technically called hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) and can be either a bone marrow transplant (BMT) or transplant of blood stem cells isolated from peripheral blood (PBSC). In either case, it involves transplanting cells capable of restoring normal bone marrow function into a patient.

An increasing number of HSCT patients are over age 55, but many in this group who need it are ruled ineligible. This is because the high-dose chemotherapy traditionally preceding HSCT—standard therapy for younger patients—is often deemed too harsh even for healthy looking older people. Indeed, in certain indications, less than 10 percent of those 55+ survive more than a year after conventional HSCT.

Since more than half of AML patients are over 65 years old, new tactics are needed. For example, what if a patient's existing bone marrow could be "prepared" prior to the transplant in a way that eliminated the need for high-dose chemotherapy? This promising approach is being pursued by an innovative New York City-based biotech company, Actinium Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Actinium's lead compound, Iomab™-B, has been successfully harnessed as a "myeloconditioning" agent in Phase 1/2 trials involving more than 250 patients including cases of incurable blood cancers such as AML resistant to available therapies. It has demonstrated the ability to prepare such patients for bone marrow transplants when no other treatment was indicated. The targeting part of Iomab™-B is a monoclonal antibody that targets CD45, an antigen widely expressed on white blood cells but not on other tissues.

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SOURCE Actinium Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
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