IDEC Pharmaceuticals Begins Phase I/II Study in Psoriasis With PRIMATIZED Antibody, IDEC-114

Business Editors & Health/Medical Writers

(BW HealthWire) — IDEC Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:IDPH) today announced that it has begun a Phase I/II clinical trial with the company’s investigational PRIMATIZED(R) anti-B7-1 (anti-CD80) monoclonal antibody, IDEC-114, in patients with psoriasis. The study will evaluate the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics and potential clinical activity of multiple doses of the investigational agent.
IDEC-114 has the potential to selectively regulate the immune response and, thus, to treat autoimmune diseases by binding to a key co-stimulatory molecule on antigen-presenting cells. The antibody blocks the binding of the CD80 ligand on antigen-presenting cells to the CD28 receptor on T cells, thus interfering with T-cell activation. In addition, CD80 is present on the T cells in psoriatic skin lesions, and IDEC-114 could act directly on these disease-causing T cells.
Importantly, IDEC-114’s mechanism of action does not appear to block binding to the CTLA-4 receptor which is purported to be involved in the desirable down-regulation of T-cell responses. Inappropriately activated T cells are implicated in the disease process of many autoimmune disorders.
“We are pleased with the early results of our single-dose, Phase I trials,” said Richard G. Lizambri, M.D., director, Autoimmune and Inflammatory Diseases. “Improved therapies are greatly needed for patients with moderate to severe psoriasis, which is a chronic, disabling disease.”
“IDEC-114 makes a significant contribution to the breadth and depth of IDEC’s product pipeline,” said William H. Rastetter, Ph.D., IDEC Pharmaceuticals’ chairman, president and chief executive officer. “We believe that the anti-CD80 PRIMATIZED antibody may prove effective in treating psoriasis, a debilitating T-cell-mediated autoimmune disease.”
Mitsubishi-Tokyo Pharmaceuticals, Inc., has licensed the commercial rights of IDEC-114 in Asia. IDEC retains exclusive rights outside of Asia.
IDEC Pharmaceuticals focuses on the commercialization and development of targeted therapies for the treatment of cancer and autoimmune diseases. IDEC’s antibody products act chiefly through immune system mechanisms, exerting their effect by binding to specific, readily targeted immune cells in the patient’s blood or lymphatic systems.
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The statements made in this press release contain certain forward-looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Actual events or results may differ from IDEC’s expectations. In addition to the matters described in this press release, the timing and success, and cost of product launches and clinical studies may vary from study to study. In addition to these matters, the risk factors listed from time to time in IDEC’s SEC filings, including but not limited, to its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 1998 and Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 1999, may affect the actual results achieved by IDEC.

--30--mk/la* ecq/la CONTACT: IDEC Pharmaceuticals Vince Reardon, 858/550-8801 KEYWORD: CALIFORNIA INTERNATIONAL ASIA PACIFIC INDUSTRY KEYWORD: MEDICINE PHARMACEUTICAL