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Gene Associated With Cancer and Other Diseases Awarded Patent and Licensed By Introgen (PR Newswire) ... collaborated since 1998 in the identification and pre- clinical development of a number of tumor suppressor genes.......Adenoviral-PTEN significantly slows the growth of human tumors, grown in animal models....... trials for INGN 201 in additional cancer indications including prostate, ovarian, bladder, brain, and breast cancer.... - Oct 23 7:03 AM ET


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Posted on: 10/23/2001

"Yahoo - Gene Associated With Cancer and Other Diseases Awarded Patent and Licensed By Introgen"
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Tuesday October 23, 7:04 am Eastern Time

Press Release

SOURCE: Introgen Therapeutics, Inc.

Gene Associated With Cancer and Other Diseases Awarded Patent and Licensed By Introgen

Introgen Licenses PTEN Gene From Imperial Cancer Research Technology Ltd., Owns Exclusive Worldwide Rights for Gene Therapy

AUSTIN, Texas, and LONDON, Oct. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Introgen Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: INGN - news) and Imperial Cancer Research Technology, Ltd. (ICRT) announced today that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued U.S. Patent No. 6,287,854 to Imperial Cancer Research Technology, Ltd. The PTEN gene may be important for the treatment of cancer and for hyperproliferative diseases such as cardiovascular disease and rheumatoid arthritis. Introgen is the exclusive licensee of this patent from Imperial Cancer Research Technology, Ltd. in the United Kingdom. ICRT is wholly owned by the Imperial Cancer Research Fund and is the sole outlet to industry of any commercially viable technologies generated within the charity. The majority of the patent's 30 claims is directed to the PTEN gene itself, and covers any type of therapeutic vector for utilizing the PTEN gene in gene therapy. Introgen is developing a clinical program utilizing its clinically proven adenoviral vector and the PTEN gene, and has tested and presented results of preclinical studies with Adenoviral-PTEN, referred to as INGN 251. Introgen and ICRT have collaborated since 1998 in the identification and pre- clinical development of a number of tumor suppressor genes.

"This patent broadly covers all therapeutic applications of the PTEN gene, whether in cancer, cardiovascular disease or other diseases," said David L. Parker, Ph.D., J.D., vice president of intellectual property for Introgen. "The patenting of the PTEN gene represents a milestone in our ongoing relationship with the Imperial Cancer Research Fund, one of Europe's premier research institutions, and comes at a time when the PTEN gene is being recognized as a key gene in both cancer and in other therapeutic applications."

The PTEN tumor suppressor gene is critical to a normal cell's growth control mechanisms, and is frequently lost in a number of cancers. Over- expression of PTEN protein has been shown to slow the growth of and/or cause increased death of numerous types of cancer cells, yet has minimal effects on normal cells, effecting a targeted approach to killing cancer cells. PTEN is also involved in cell migration, invasion and metastasis, and in the formation of blood vessels, processes which are crucial for the growth and spread of a cancer. Adenoviral-PTEN significantly slows the growth of human tumors, grown in animal models. Preclinical studies have shown that PTEN may also be useful to treat coronary arterial diseases. PTEN is one of the genes also being investigated in connection with Introgen's collaboration with the Texas Heart Institute. INGN 251 is the subject of an abstract published in a supplement to Circulation, the Journal of the American Heart Association. The abstract is available to subscribers of the journal in its October 23, 2001 printed issue. The preclinical data described in the abstract will be presented next month at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association.

About Imperial Cancer Research Technology, Ltd.

ICRT is wholly owned by the charity Imperial Cancer Research Fund (ICRF), one of the world's leading cancer research organizations. ICRT acts as the bridge between the charity and industry, developing, communicating and transferring the technologies. ICRF employs over 1000 doctors and scientists who work to find new answers to cancer by understanding the causes of cancer, learning how cancer can be prevented and by finding new treatments that will dramatically improve the quality of life for people with cancer. The ICRF forms the largest independent cancer research institute in Europe and carries out over one third of all cancer research performed in the United Kingdom. The ICRF is home to two recent Nobel Prize winners. Sir Paul Nurse FRS and Dr. Tim Hunt FRS have been awarded the 2001 Nobel Prize for Medicine for their discoveries of key regulators of the cell cycle. Their work has greatly enhanced understanding of cancer cells and how they grow.

Introgen is a leader in the development and production of gene-based drugs for the treatment of cancer and other diseases. Introgen's product candidates engage precise molecular targets to produce a highly specific therapeutic effect. By selectively killing cancer cells and harnessing natural protection mechanisms, Introgen's product candidates may be less toxic than conventional treatments. Introgen specializes in combining appropriate gene delivery systems and therapeutic genes to make its gene-based drugs. Introgen is currently conducting two Phase III clinical trials for the treatment of head and neck cancer with its lead product candidate, INGN 201. Introgen's gene therapeutics have been used in approximately twenty clinical trials worldwide either alone or in combination with conventional treatments such as chemotherapy, surgery and radiotherapy. Introgen is also conducting a Phase II clinical trial for INGN 201 in lung cancer and Phase I trials for INGN 201 in additional cancer indications including prostate, ovarian, bladder, brain, and breast cancer. New applications using the human immune system with INGN 201 are being explored. Introgen's second product candidate, INGN 241 (Adenoviral-mda7) for the treatment of solid tumors, is in Phase I clinical development.

Certain statements in this press release that are not strictly historical may be "forward-looking" statements, which involve risks and uncertainties. Such forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, those relating to safety and efficacy of drug product candidates, including INGN 251, Introgen's Adenoviral-PTEN product candidate. There can be no assurance that Introgen will be able to commercially develop gene-based drugs, that necessary regulatory approvals will be obtained or that any clinical trials or studies undertaken will be successful or that the proposed treatments will prove to be safe and/or effective. The actual results may differ from those described in this press release due to risks and uncertainties that exist in Introgen's operations and business environment, including, but without limitation, Introgen's stage of product development and the limited experience in the development of gene-based drugs in general, its dependence upon proprietary technology and current competition, history of operating losses and accumulated deficits, Introgen's reliance on collaborative relationships, and uncertainties related to clinical trials, safety, efficacy, the ability to obtain the appropriate regulatory approvals, patent protection and market acceptance, as well as other risks detailed from time to time in Introgen's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its prospectus dated October 12, 2000, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and the 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on September 19, 2001. Introgen undertakes no obligation to publicly release the results of any revisions to any forward-looking statements that reflect events or circumstances arising from the date hereof.

Editor's Note: For more information on Introgen Therapeutics, or for a menu of archived press releases, please visit the Introgen's Website at: www.introgen.com or call Introgen's toll-free Investor Relations hotline at 1-877-776-GENE (4363).

Editor's Note: For more information on Imperial Cancer Research Technology, Ltd. or Imperial Cancer Research Fund, please visit their website at http://www.icrt.co.uk .

     Contact:

     Introgen Therapeutics, Inc.
     Channing Burke
     (512) 708 9310 Ext. 322
     Email: c.burke@introgen.com

     Imperial Cancer Research Fund
     Dr. David Snary
     +44 207 796 3907
     Email: d.snary@icrf.icnet.uk

SOURCE: Introgen Therapeutics, Inc.

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