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Addition Of Epratuzumab To Combination Chemotherapy May Be Beneficial In Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia

Stocks in this article: IMMU

Epratuzumab Combined With Clofarabine and Cytarabine Produced a Complete Response Rate of 50%

Clofarabine and Cytarabine Demonstrated a Complete Response Rate of 17% in a Previous Study

ATLANTA, Dec. 10, 2012 (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 adult patients with relapsed or refractory acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) reported a complete response (CR and CRi) rate of 50% after receiving one cycle of treatment with epratuzumab in combination with the chemotherapy agents, clofarabine and cytarabine.

Results from this Phase II S0910 study conducted by the Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG) of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) were presented at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology by Anjali S. Advani, MD, Principal Investigator and staff physician in the Department of the Hematologic Oncology and Blood Disorders at Cleveland Clinic's Taussig Cancer Institute, Cleveland, OH.

In addition to Cleveland Clinic, other clinical research centers participating in this multicenter trial include City of Hope National Medical Center, Duarte, CA; Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA; University of Mississippi, Jackson, MS; University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY; Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX; Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and SWOG Statistical Center, Seattle, WA.

SWOG had previously reported a CR rate of 17% in adult patients with ALL using only the combination of clofarabine and cytarabine. Because virtually all immature B cells express CD22, which is the target of the Company's proprietary humanized antibody, epratuzumab, the NCI-study group wanted to evaluate the CR rate of combining the anti-CD22 antibody with the two chemotherapeutic agents.

Twenty patients were initially accrued into the study to test whether the CR rate is sufficiently high to warrant further investigation. After at least 2 complete responders were observed in the first 20 patients, an additional 12 patients were accrued.

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