CAMBRIDGE, Mass. and GAITHERSBURG, Md., May 31, 2007 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- Infinity Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:INFI) and MedImmune, Inc. (Nasdaq:MEDI) today announced that interim clinical data on IPI-504 in a Phase I trial in patients with gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST) and other soft tissue sarcomas (STS), will be presented at the 2007 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), to be held June 1-5, 2007 at McCormick Place in Chicago, Ill. IPI-504, the companies' heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) inhibitor, is currently being evaluated as a water-soluble, intravenous formulation in two disease-focused clinical trials involving patients with GIST/STS and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
* A poster entitled, "Inhibition and flare patterns of metabolic response to the heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) inhibitor IPI-504 visualized by FDG-PET in patients (pts) with advanced gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST) resistant to tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) therapy," (Poster Number 1, Abstract No: 3530) will be presented on Saturday, June 2, 2007 from 2:00-6:00 p.m. CDT in Room S102a.
* A poster entitled, "Inhibition of the Heat Shock Protein 90 (Hsp90) chaperone with the novel agent IPI-504 to overcome resistance to tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) in metastatic GIST: Updated results of a phase I trial," (Poster Number 8, Abstract No: 10023) will be presented on Monday, June 4, 2007 from 2:00-6:00 p.m. CDT in Room S103a.
IPI-504 is a small molecule drug candidate being developed jointly by Infinity and MedImmune. IPI-504 has been well tolerated in its ongoing Phase I studies and has shown promising biological activity in a Phase I clinical trial in patients with relapsed, refractory, Gleevec(r)-resistant GIST. IPI-504 is also being evaluated in a Phase I/II clinical trial in patients with advanced NSCLC. In preclinical studies, IPI-504 has been shown to inhibit Hsp90 potently and selectively, thereby killing cancer cells. IPI-504 has also demonstrated, in preclinical studies, broad potential to treat certain cancers as both a single agent as well as in combination with existing anti-cancer drugs. The water-based formulation of IPI-504 is delivered as an intravenous infusion; an oral formulation of IPI-504 is currently in preclinical development.
Hsp90 is an emerging therapeutic target of interest for the treatment of cancer. Proteins are the mainstay of structural and signaling elements of all cells. Hsp90 is a molecule that maintains the conformation and activity of specific proteins in the cell -- these proteins are known as "client proteins" of Hsp90. Many cancers result from specific mutations in, or aberrant expression of, these client proteins. Examples of oncogenic client proteins of Hsp90 include c-Kit in GIST, epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) in NSCLC, and Bcr-Abl in chronic myelogenous leukemia. Hsp90 enables those cancers' survival by maintaining the function of oncogenic client proteins. In preclinical studies, inhibition of Hsp90 has been shown to lead to the degradation of these proteins and cell death, or apoptosis. In addition, oncogenic client proteins that have become resistant to approved targeted therapies have also been shown preclinically to remain sensitive to Hsp90 inhibition. Inhibition of Hsp90 has broad therapeutic potential for the treatment of patients with solid tumors and blood-related cancers, including cancers that are resistant to other drugs.
About GIST and Hsp90
The American Cancer Society (ACS) reports that GIST is the most frequent form of gastrointestinal sarcoma, a life-threatening disease highly resistant to traditional cytotoxic chemotherapy or radiation treatment. The ACS estimates that between 4,500 and 6,000 Americans develop GIST each year. In the majority of GIST cases, specific mutations in cellular signaling en zymes ("kinases") called KIT or PDGFRA cause the growth and survival signal of the cell to become permanently active, leading to cancer. Both KIT and PDGFRA are client proteins of Hsp90, suggesting that inhibition of Hsp90 in GIST is an attractive area for clinical study.
About Infinity -- MedImmune Collaboration
In August 2006, Infinity and MedImmune entered into an agreement to jointly develop and commercialize novel small molecule cancer drugs targeting Hsp90 and the Hedgehog cell-signaling pathway. The collaboration is focused on inhibitors of Hsp90, including IPI-504 which is in Phase I/II clinical trials, as well as next-generation oral versions of IPI-504, and a series of molecules targeting the Hedgehog cell signaling pathway.
About Infinity Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Infinity is an innovative cancer drug discovery and development company that is seeking to leverage its strength in small molecule drug technologies to discover, develop, and deliver to patients best-in-class medicines for the treatment of cancer and related conditions. For more information on Infinity, please refer to the company's website at http://www.ipi.com.
About MedImmune, Inc.
MedImmune strives to provide better medicines to patients, new medical options for physicians, rewarding careers to employees, and increased value to shareholders. Dedicated to advancing science and medicine to help people live better lives, the company is focused on the areas of infectious diseases, cancer and inflammatory diseases. With more than 2,500 employees worldwide, MedImmune is headquartered in Maryland. For more information, visit the company's website at http://www.medimmune.com.
This announcement contains, in addition to historical information, certain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, in particular statements related to the research and development of IPI-504 and other compounds targeting Hsp90. Such statements reflect the current views of MedImmune and/or Infinity management and are based on certain assumptions. Actual results could differ materially from those currently anticipated as a result of a number of factors, including risks and uncertainties discussed in MedImmune's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and in Infinity's quarterly report on Form10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2007. There can be no assurance that such development efforts will succeed, that the products will receive required regulatory clearance or, even if such regulatory clearance is received, that the subsequent products will ultimately achieve commercial success. Further, any forward-looking statements contained in this announcement speak only as of the date hereof, and MedImmune and Infinity expressly disclaim any obligation to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Notice to Investors and Stockholders of MedImmune
This release is neither an offer to purchase nor a solicitation of an offer to sell shares of MedImmune. MedImmune stockholders are urged to read the relevant tender offer documents from AstraZeneca PLC that have been filed on May 3, 2007 because they contain important information that stockholders should consider before making any decision regarding tendering their shares. AstraZeneca has filed tender offer materials with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and MedImmune has also filed a Solicitation/Recommendation Statement on Schedule 14D-9 with respect to the offer. The tender offer materials (including an Offer to Purchase, a related Letter of Transmittal and certain other offer documents) and the Solicitation/Recommendation Statement contain important information, which should be read carefully before any decision is made with respect to the tender offer. The Offer to Purchase, the related Letter of Transmittal and certain other offer documents, as well as the Solicitation/Recommendation Statement, are available for free at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's web site at http://www.sec.gov, at AstraZeneca's website at http://www.astrazeneca.com or at MedImmune's website at http://www.medimmune.com.
Gleevec(r) is a registered trademark of Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation. INFI-G
-0- CONTACT: Infinity Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Monique Allaire 617-453-1105 http://www.ipi.com
MedImmune, Inc. Media: Kate Barrett 301-398-4320 Investors: Beatrice Pierre 301-398-4905 http://www.medimmune.com
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