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Scorpion-Derived Drug to Be Tested Against Glioma

Posted on: 06/24/2002

Scorpion-Derived Drug to Be Tested Against Glioma

Brain surgeons at the City of Hope in Los Angeles and the University of Alabama at Birmingham plan to test a new drug being developed by TransMolecular, 131I-TM-601, in patients suffering from glioma. 131I-TM-601 is a radiopharmaceutical that contains a synthetic version of a substance derived from scorpions called chlorotoxin.

Researchers involved in the multicenter study will test the safety and tolerability of one 131I-TM-601 dose and overall tumor response rate in the initial study group of 18 patients. Preclinical studies showed that use of 131I-TM-601 could extend survival in a mouse model that mimicked human brain tumors.

The US Food and Drug Administration approved TransMolecular's investigational new drug application to begin a phase I/II clinical study of the drug in humans in January of this year.

Adult patients with recurrent glioma who have not had prior treatment with gene therapy, brachytherapy, radiosurgery, or implants of polymers containing chemotherapeutic agents are eligible for this study. However, patients must also be eligible for resection of the recurrent tumor. In all, 18 patients will be monitored over 6 months during the study. For more information, please call the University of Alabama at Birmingham at 205/975-0438 or City of Hope at 626/359-8111, ext 63033 or ext 62329.
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