CORRECTED-Northwest Bio drug for inoperable tumors safe so far -researcher

Thu Jun 19, 2014 4:28pm EDT

(Corrects name of company in first paragraph)

June 19 (Reuters) - An experimental Northwest Biotherapeutics Inc drug for inoperable tumors has shown no signs of toxicity in an ongoing safety trial being conducted at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, the trial's researcher said on Thursday.

"We are testing for toxicity, and we haven't seen any toxicity" from the drug so far, Dr. Vivek Subbiah, an oncologist who is conducting the DCVax-Direct studies at the prominent Houston center, told Reuters. The trials have been underway since last autumn.

Investigators at the hospital and at several other research sites are testing whether DCVax-Direct can successfully treat a wide range of solid tumors so advanced or inaccessible that they are deemed inoperable.

The ongoing first phase of the study is focusing on whether the injectable drug is safe. The primary goal of a subsequent Phase II part of the study, if the drug proves safe, would assess whether it can actually shrink or eliminate tumors.

(Reporting by Ransdell Pierson)

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