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Vion Demonstrates Readiness Of First Tumor-Targeting Salmonella For Human Testing Against Solid Tumors

to manufacture and pharmacological formulation, and we have successfully produced sufficient quantities for initial clinical trials."

Vion scientists Caroline Clairmont, Ph.D. and Li-mou Zheng, Ph.D. also reported new preclinical data showing the safety of VNP20009 in non-human primate models. Previous studies in mice have demonstrated that VNP20009 is more than 10,000 times less toxic than the wild-type Salmonella strain from which it is developed. Additionally, the studies showed that the TAPET bacteria were rapidly cleared from the blood to undetectable levels within 24 hours. New research reported at AACR showed that VNP20009 has no toxic effect when administered to cynomolgous monkeys at very high doses (109 cfu/monkey), which would be toxic using wild-type Salmonella. Moreover, the bacterium is not shed in the animals' feces or urine, and is rapidly cleared from the blood and from other tissues over extended periods of time.

A further report at AACR by Vion scientists showed VNP20009's ability to inhibit the growth of both primary tumors and metastases. VNP20009, injected intravenously into tumor-bearing mice, accumulated and proliferated within tumor tissue at a rate at least 500 times higher than it did in liver, the tissue of second greatest accumulation. This selectivity for tumors was observed in a variety of tumor types, including mouse melanoma, and human melanoma, colon, lung, prostate, and breast tumors transplanted into mice. In addition, the researchers demonstrated that VNP20009 inhibited the growth of lung metastases in models of metastatic melanoma and prolonged the life span of animals treated with the TAPET organisms.

"These new findings further support Vion's position that TAPET organisms should be safe for use in humans and offer considerable potential as a new approach to the treatment of cancer," said Dr. Ivan King, vice president of biology. "Our research has shown TAPET to have a wide ranging ability t
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Contact: Joan Kureczka
jkureczka@aol.com
415-821-2413
Kureczka/Martin Associates
11-Apr-1999


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