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Biothera's Imprime PGG Enhanced Effectiveness of Avastin in Cancer,Study

EAGAN, Minn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jun 4, 2007 - Imprime PGG(TM), an investigational new drug from Biothera that enhances the innate immune system response, increases the effectiveness of Avastin(R) (bevacizumab) to kill cancer cells, according to new preclinical research presented yesterday at the 2007 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting in Chicago.

Researchers at the Brown Cancer Center, University of Louisville, Kentucky, studied the synergistic effects of Imprime PGG in combination with Avastin in a xenograft mouse model where human ovarian cancer cells were implanted into the mice. In the treatment group receiving both Imprime PGG and Avastin, 86% of the mice survived 100 days compared with only 43% in the group receiving Avastin alone.

"The combination of Imprime PGG and Avastin should be considered as potential treatment approach in patients with VEGF-expressing tumors and needs to be further investigated in clinical trials," said Carolina Salvador, M.D., a clinical instructor at the Brown Cancer Center.

"The results are consistent with previous research demonstrating improved outcomes for both tumor size and long-term survival when Imprime PGG is combined with complement-activating monoclonal antibodies," said Daniel K. Conners, president of Biothera's Pharmaceutical Group. "Our technology has the potential to dramatically enhance both existing and developmental drug treatments for most major types of cancer."

The ASCO poster presentation is entitled, "Cytotoxicity of Bevacizumab is Enhanced by Beta-glucan in Tumors Expressing Membrane-Bound VEGF." Dr. Salvador conducted the research in collaboration with Jun Yan, MD, Ph.D., the lead researcher at the Tumor Immunobiology Program at the Brown Cancer Center.

About Imprime PGG(TM)

Imprime PGG is a biological response modifier that enhances specific innate immune cell responses. Biothera has completed two Phas e I clinical trials under its cancer Investigational New Drug (IND) application for the use of Imprime PGG in combination with anti-cancer monoclonal antibodies. Under a separate IND, the company also has completed a Phase I/II trial with Imprime PGG in combination with a hematopoietic growth factor.

Biothera plans to initiate multiple Phase Ib and Phase II studies with Imprime PGG in combination with anti-cancer monoclonal antibodies.

About Avastin(R)

Avastin is the first U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved therapy designed to inhibit angiogenesis, the process by which new blood vessels develop and carry vital nutrients to a tumor. Avastin is approved, in combination with intravenous 5-fluorouracil-based (5-FU) chemotherapy, for first- or second-line treatment of patients with metastatic carcinoma of the colon or rectum and in combination with carboplatin and paclitaxel for the first-line treatment of patients with unresectable, locally advanced, recurrent or metastatic non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Avastin is a product of Genentech.

About Biothera, the Immune Health Company

Biothera is a biotechnology company dedicated to improving immune health. The company's primary focus is developing pharmaceuticals that engage the innate immune system to fight cancer. Other applications include hematopoiesis (production of blood cells) and infectious disease. In addition, Biothera manufactures and markets food-grade ingredients that support healthy immune function to the nutritional supplement, functional food, cosmetic and animal nutrition markets. Website:


Biothera, the Immune Health Company
David Walsh, 651-256-4606
VP, Communications


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