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Fractionated Radioimmunotherapy With (90)Y-epratuzumab in,Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma Appears Safe and Active in a Phase I/II,Study

- Results Presented at the 12th Congress of European Hematology Association (EHA) -

VIENNA, Austria, June 11, 2007 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Immunomedics, Inc. , a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing monoclonal antibodies to treat cancer and other serious diseases, today announced that data presented at the 12th Congress of EHA in Vienna, Austria, showed positive responses in patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) treated with a new radioimmunotherapy (RAIT) using epratuzumab to deliver toxic radiation directly to lymphoma cells in small fractions. Franck Morschhauser, MD, Centre Hospitalier Regional Universitaire de Lille, Lille, France, is the lead investigator of this open-label, multicenter Phase I/II dose-escalation study and the presenter at the meeting.

Current RAIT treatments for NHL such as tositumomab and ibritumomab tiuxetan are radiolabeled murine antibodies targeting the CD20 antigen on the surface of mature B-cells and B-cell tumors as expressed by NHL cells. Immunomedics' epratuzumab is a humanized monoclonal antibody that targets the CD22 antigen on B-cells, including malignant B-cells. The internalizing property of epratuzumab is believed to be well suited for delivering radiation from the potent radioisotope, yttrium-90, selectively and locally to lymphoma cells that express the CD22 antigen. Moreover, because epratuzumab is humanized, it is argued that the new RAIT can be administered to patients repeatedly in smaller doses. Researchers found that splitting the dose over two or three fractions made it tolerable to patients while delivering higher radioactivity to tumor cells.

At the time of reporting, 54 patients were evaluated with an overall objective response rate of 59% and a complete response rate of 43%. Moreover, responses appear durable with 6 complete responders who remained disease free for more than 1 year, including 4 continuing for more than 2 years.
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