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Importance Of Real-Time MRI Guidance In Delivery Of Toca 511 Gene Therapy Directly To High Grade Glioma Presented At Annual Society For Neuro-Oncology Scientific Meeting

IRVINE, Calif., Dec. 3, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- MRI Interventions, Inc. (OTCQB:MRIC) today announced the presentation of clinical data demonstrating the precision of MRI-guided delivery of the investigational gene therapy Toca 511 to high grade gliomas using the company's ClearPoint ® Neuro Intervention System as the delivery platform. At the 4 th Quadrennial Meeting of the World Federation of Neuro-Oncology, held in conjunction with the 18 th Annual Society for Neuro-Oncology Scientific Meeting and Education Day, Dr. Manish Aghi, neurosurgeon at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), presented a poster showing interim data from an ongoing Phase I clinical trial evaluating the safety and tolerability of Toca 511 in combination with Toca FC in recurrent high grade glioma patients.

Toca 511 is a retroviral replicating vector that carries a gene for an enzyme that converts orally delivered Toca FC (extended-release 5-FC) into 5-FU, a potent anti-cancer agent.

The Toca 511 delivery procedure uses MRI Interventions' ClearPoint System, which merges neuronavigation with real-time MRI imaging. This platform allows visualization while making adjustments to cannula trajectory, position and flow rate during a delivery procedure.

Dr. Aghi commented that real-time MRI-guided delivery is more precise than delivery based on previous methods. "Direct visualization of the tumor during delivery of Toca 511 has been very important in helping us administer the desired dose precisely at the intended location," stated Dr. Aghi. "The evidence of antitumor activity we have observed in this trial support continued dose escalation."

Additional highlights of the presentation included:
  • Toca 511 dose levels studied to date have been safe and well-tolerated;
  • Using direct MRI guidance, delivery of Toca 511 into as many as four locations in the tumor, at flow rates of up to 30 µL/min has been achieved without reflux;
  • Analysis of tumor from a patient who underwent MRI-guided delivery of Toca 511 showed Toca 511 gene expression;
  • In certain patients, following treatment with Toca 511 and Toca FC, MRI changes consistent with antitumor activity have been observed.

"We are pleased to be a part of the ongoing progress in the development of new treatment options for patients with high grade gliomas," stated Kim Jenkins, CEO of MRI Interventions, Inc. "We are optimistic that direct visualization for precise delivery of investigational gene therapies like Toca 511 will have a positive impact on the field of neuro-oncology."

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