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Immunomedics Reports Targeted Therapy For Advanced Pancreatic Cancer Improves Survival

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 21, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Immunomedics , Inc. (Nasdaq:IMMU), a biopharmaceutical company primarily focused on the development of monoclonal antibody-based products for the targeted treatment of cancer, autoimmune and other serious diseases, today announced that repeated therapy cycles of its proprietary antibody, clivatuzumab tetraxetan, labeled with yttrium-90 (Y-90) plus low-dose gemcitabine at 200 mg/m 2, extended median overall survival (OS) to 11.8 months, more than double the 5.4 months OS in patients treated with a single cycle. Increased Y-90 doses also improved responses; patients receiving a dose of 12 mCi/m 2 or higher once a week for 3 weeks reporting a median OS of 8.0 months versus 6.0 months at doses of  9 mCi/m 2 or less, once a week for 3 weeks.

These encouraging results were updated at the 2011 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium, which is co‚Äźsponsored by the American Gastroenterological Association Institute, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the American Society for Radiation Oncology, and the Society of Surgical Oncology.

At the Symposium, results from 50 evaluable patients were reported. The overall disease control rate for all dose groups, including those that received gemcitabine at greater than 200 mg/m 2, was 60%, with 7 patients (14%) reporting a partial response by RECIST criteria (i.e., responses showing decreases in tumor size of more than 30% by CT and the absence of new lesions) and 23 patients (46%) with disease stabilization. Metabolic imaging with PET and the biomarker, CA19-9, both provided supportive evidence of anti-tumor activity.

Commenting on these encouraging results, Dr. Allyson Ocean of the New York Presbyterian Hospital, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, NY, stated, "This is the first time we are reporting survival benefits with this antibody, which are significant in pancreatic cancer. Shrinkage of primary tumors in patients with advanced, inoperable pancreatic cancer is extremely rare. Equally important are improvements in quality-of-life, particularly in the reduction of pain, we have witnessed in our patients."

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