* 75 pct of patients respond to the drug
* Progression-free survival of 6.9 months
LOS ANGELES May 27 A small, mid-stage trial of
an experimental breast cancer drug developed by Peregrine
Pharmaceuticals Inc (PPHM.O) showed that 74 percent of patients
responded to the treatment, according to the company.
The Phase 2 trial enrolled 46 patients with advanced breast
cancer who were treated with a combination of the drug, called
bavituximab, and chemotherapy drugs paclitaxel and
The trial found that, after a treatment period of about six
months, 34 patients achieved an "objective tumor response,"
meaning their tumors shrank at least 30 percent. Four patients,
or 9 percent, had their tumors completely disappear.
Patients survived a median of 6.9 months without their
cancer worsening and overall survival will eventually be
reported, Peregrine said.
By comparison, an older trial showed that treating advanced
breast cancer patients with the chemo drugs alone resulted in a
response rate of 62 percent and median progression-free
survival of 4.8 months.
Side effects were in line with those typically seen with
chemo drugs, said Marvin Garovoy, head of clinical science at
Bavituximab is an antibody designed to reactivate the
immune system to fight tumors and tumor blood vessels.
Peregrine, which will present the bavituximab data at a
meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology next
month, said it is planning future Phase 2 trials.
Garovoy said the company plans to launch by the middle of
this year a controlled study of the drug in lung cancer
(Reporting by Deena Beasley; editing by Carol Bishopric)