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Progenics Pharmaceuticals' Novel Small Molecule Drugs Targeting PSMA Successfully Visualize Prostate Cancer

Stocks in this article: PGNX

Positive Data Reported in The Journal of Nuclear Medicine

Global Phase 2 Imaging Trial of Next Generation Molecule Underway

TARRYTOWN, N.Y., March 5, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Progenics Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:PGNX) reported positive clinical data from a study of two novel radiolabeled small molecules targeting prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA). The imaging agents — 123I-MIP-1072 and 123I-MIP-1095 — had a high sensitivity of lesion detection in bone, tissue and the prostate gland with minimal retention in non-target tissue. The research was published as the cover article in the March issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine.

"Existing imaging techniques are limited in their ability to diagnose and stage prostate cancer," said John J. Babich, Ph.D., senior author of the article "First-in-Man Evaluation of Two High-Affinity PSMA-Avid Small Molecules for Imaging Prostate Cancer." "The approach described in this paper has the potential to assess disease status more accurately. It could help clinicians select optimal treatments and lead to better patient outcomes."

Separate phase 1 studies were conducted under an exploratory investigational new drug (IND) application to measure the potential effectiveness of the small molecules in diagnosing and staging prostate cancer. In the first study, seven patients with documented prostate cancer were administered doses of 123I-MIP-1072 and 123I-MIP-1095, two weeks apart. In the second study, six healthy volunteers received 123I-MIP-1072 only. Whole body planar imaging and single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT)/computed tomography (CT) were performed for each group, and pharmacokinetics, tissue distribution, excretion, safety and organ radiation dose were analyzed.

Based on the data reported , Progenics is conductinga global, multi-center phase 2 trial investigating a next generation radiolabeled small molecule targeting PSMA, MIP-1404.

Mark R. Baker, chief executive officer of Progenics, said, "We recently acquired all of the rights to the compounds described in this Journal of Nuclear Medicine paper , as well as to the phase 2 stage imaging agent MIP-1404, through Progenics' acquisition of Molecular Insight Pharmaceuticals. It is gratifying to see this expansion of our oncology pipeline demonstrating progress so soon."

Robert J. Israel, M.D., Progenics' senior vice president of medical affairs and clinical research, said, "We believe that MIP-1404 has excellent potential as a diagnostic radiopharmaceutical. Results to date from the study compounds and MIP-1404 show PSMA as a robust target for prostate cancer molecular imaging, and that a radiolabeled small molecule, which binds PSMA with high affinity, has the potential to detect prostate cancer throughout the body. Cancer treatment guidelines call for imaging prostate cancer with conventional bone scans or MRI. A more accurate method of imaging prostate cancer could be of great value."

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