CAMBRIDGE, Mass. and GAITHERSBURG, Md., April 10, 2007 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- Infinity Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:INFI) and MedImmune, Inc. (Nasdaq:MEDI) today announced that data from a preclinical study with an oral formulation of IPI-504 in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) will be presented at the upcoming Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) in Los Angeles, Calif., April 14-18, 2007. 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 gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST) and NSCLC.
An oral presentation of the data, titled "IPI-504, a novel orally administered Hsp90 inhibitor, demonstrates anti-tumor effects in EGFR mutant, kinase inhibitor resistant NSCLC" (Abstract No. 5726) is scheduled to begin at 9:10 a.m. PDT on Wednesday, April 18, 2007 in Room 501 A-C in the Los Angeles Convention Center.
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 Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
The American Cancer Society (ACS) reports that lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for both men and women. The ACS estimates that approximately 214,000 new cases of lung cancer will be diagnosed in the United States in 2007. According to the ACS, NSCLC is the most common form of lung cancer, accounting for about 85% of all lung cancers. In some cases, specific mutations have been identified in EGFR, a cellular signaling enzyme. These mutations allow the survival signal of the mutated cancer cell to be switched "on" all the time. NSCLC patients with mutations in EGFR have been found to benefit from drugs such as Tarceva(r) and Iressa(r) that block EGFR signaling. Over time, however, resistance mutations develop su ch that patients become resistant to these agents. EGFR is a highly-sensitive client protein of Hsp90, suggesting that inhibition of Hsp90 in NSCLC 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.
Gleevec(r), Tarceva(r) and Iressa(r) are registered trademarks of Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, OSI Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and AstraZeneca, respectively.
-0- CONTACT: Infinity Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Investors and Media Monique Allaire 617-453-11 05 http://www.ipi.com
MedImmune, Inc. Media Kate Barrett 301-398-4320 Investors Beatrice Pierre 301-398-4905 http://www.medimmune.com