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Xenova Group PLC (XEN)

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Thursday 03 July, 2003

Xenova Group PLC

Research Update

Xenova Group PLC
03 July 2003

                                Xenova Group plc
             XENOVA AND MILLENNIUM INITIATE PHASE I CLINICAL TRIAL
                               OF XR5944 (MLN944)


Slough, UK, and Cambridge, Mass, USA, 3rd July, 2003 - Xenova Group plc (NASDAQ
NM: XNVA; London Stock Exchange: XEN) and Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
(NASDAQ: MLNM), today announced the initiation of a Phase I clinical trial of
XR5944 (also known as MLN944). XR5944 is a novel DNA targeting agent under
investigation for the treatment of advanced cancers. The Phase I clinical trial
is an open label, dose-escalation study in adult patients with advanced solid
tumours to evaluate the safety and tolerability, as well as pharmacokinetic
properties of XR5944.  The study will be conducted at three centres in the
United Kingdom and will include approximately 40 patients.

XR5944 is a novel DNA targeting agent that, in preclinical studies, has
demonstrated a high level of anti-tumour activity, both in vitro and in vivo,
against a number of human tumour models.  In human tumour xenograft models,
treatment with XR5944 caused both partial and complete regression of large
established tumours.  Recent data published in the Proceedings for the 2003
Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, suggest that
XR5944 acts through a novel mechanism of action distinct from other current
cytotoxic agents. Further exploration into the mechanism of action of XR5944 is
ongoing.

'XR5944 has one of the best preclinical profiles we have seen both in vitro and
in vivo,' said David Oxlade, Xenova's Chief Executive Officer.  'We are hopeful
that the exciting XR5944 preclinical activity will translate into a clinical
compound that helps address the clear and growing need in the marketplace for
better, more efficacious cancer treatments.'

'XR5944 is an important compound in our oncology portfolio that we believe holds
great potential and is based on the Millennium commitment to breakthrough
science and breakthrough medicine,' said Barry Greene, General Manager of
Oncology at Millennium.  'With both the preclinical activity data and our
growing understanding of the novel mechanism of action, we are optimistic that
XR5944 may provide patients with an important new therapeutic option.'

Millennium licensed XR5944 from Xenova Group plc in December 2001 as part of a
larger collaboration including two other compounds XR11576 (MLN576) and XR11612
(MLN612).  Millennium is currently funding Xenova to implement development
activities associated with the programme to the completion of Phase II clinical
trials, at which time Millennium has the right to assume development
responsibility in North America. Xenova retains commercialisation and
development responsibility for the rest of the world.  XR11576 is currently
completing enrolment in its UK-based Phase I trials and the study data will then
be reviewed to assess further development plans.

Conference Call Information

Xenova will hold a conference call on Thursday, 3 July at 10:00 a.m. BST. For
details contact Mo Noonan at Financial Dynamics, telephone +44 (0) 20 7269 7116.


                                   -- ends --


Contacts:

UK:                                        US:
Xenova Group plc                           Trout Group/BMC Communications
Tel: +44 (0)1753 706600                    Tel: 001 212 477 9007
David A Oxlade, Chief Executive Officer    Press: Brad Miles (Ext 17)
Daniel Abrams, Group Finance Director      Daniel Budwick (Ext 14)
Jon Davies, Corporate Communications       Investors: Jonathan Fassberg (Ext 16)
                                           Lee Stern (Ext 22)

Financial Dynamics
Tel: +44 (0)207 831 3113
David Yates/Ben Atwell



Notes to Editors

About Millennium

Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a leading biopharmaceutical company,
headquartered in Cambridge, Mass., USA, co-promotes INTEGRILIN(R) (eptifibatide)
Injection, a market-leading cardiovascular product, markets VELCADE (bortezomib)
for Injection, a novel cancer product, and has a robust clinical development
pipeline of product candidates.  The Company's research, development and
commercialisation activities are focused in four disease areas: cardiovascular,
oncology, inflammation and metabolic. By applying its knowledge of the human
genome, its understanding of disease mechanisms, and its industrialised
technology platform, Millennium is developing breakthrough personalised medicine
products.


About Xenova Group

Xenova Group plc's product pipeline focuses principally on the therapeutic areas
of cancer and immune system disorders.  Xenova has a broad pipeline of
programmes in clinical development.  The Group has a well-established track
record in the identification, development and partnering of innovative products
and technologies and has partnerships with significant pharmaceutical and
biopharmaceutical companies including Lilly, Pfizer, Celltech, Genentech, QLT
and Millennium Pharmaceuticals.

For further information about Xenova and its products please visit the Xenova
website at www.xenova.co.uk



For Xenova: Disclaimer to take advantage of the 'Safe Harbor' provisions of the
US Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. This press release contains
'forward-looking statements,' including statements about the discovery,
development and commercialization of products. Various risks may cause Xenova's
actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the
forward looking statements, including: adverse results in our drug discovery and
clinical development programs; failure to obtain patent protection for our
discoveries; commercial limitations imposed by patents owned or controlled by
third parties; our dependence upon strategic alliance partners to develop and
commercialize products and services; difficulties or delays in obtaining
regulatory approvals to market products and services resulting from our
development efforts; the requirement for substantial funding to conduct research
and development and to expand commercialization activities; and product
initiatives by competitors.  For a further list and description of the risks and
uncertainties we face, see the reports we have filed with the Securities and
Exchange Commission.  We disclaim any intention or obligation to update or
revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information,
future events or otherwise.


                      This information is provided by RNS
            The company news service from the London Stock Exchange