COPENHAGEN, June 3, 2007 - Genmab A/S (CSE: GEN) announced today pre-clinical data illustrating its fully human HuMax-EGFr™ (zalutumumab) antibody may have broad potential to treat cancers that over-express several types of EGFr (epidermal growth factor receptor).
Recently, mutations which appear to alter the signaling ability of EGFr have been identified in tumors from lung cancer patients. Such mutations may be a critical factor in the potential success of EGFr-directed treatments in lung cancer.
In a novel cancer cell laboratory model, HuMax-EGFr effectively inhibited the growth of tumor cells that express both mutated or normal EGF receptors. This inhibition occurred through different mechanisms of action including direct inhibition of cancer cell growth and an immune cell-mediated killing activity known as antibody dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC).
Genmab scientists also used the model to test the effects of tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI) such as the marketed products Iressa and Tarceva on EGFr-expressing tumor cells. Tumor cells expressing various mutated EGFr varied strongly in their sensitivity to TKI therapy, whereas no differences in efficacy where observed for HuMax-EGFr.
"This pre-clinical data indicates that HuMax-EGFr may have more potential in the treatment of some types of cancer, such as lung cancer, than tyrosine kinase inhibitors," said Lisa N. Drakeman, Ph.D., Chief of Genmab.
These data will be presented today in a poster session at the
43rd American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting in
Chicago, Illinois, USA.