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

o inhibit a broad variety of both primarily and metastatic tumors when given systemically. This ability clearly and uniquely distinguishes TAPET from the numerous gene therapy approaches to cancer treatment, all of which require pre-detection of the tumor and local, direct administration of the agent, and thus do not allow for systemic therapy."

"We believe that TAPET vectors represent a novel and exciting approach to the treatment of cancer," said Alan Kessman, Vion chief executive officer. "These organisms, without "warheads", suppress tumor growth in a significant manner on their own, which enhances the even greater potential of using TAPET as a "guided missle" that can be engineered to selectively deliver a wide variety of anticancer agents (so-called "warheads") to solid tumors throughout the body."

Vion's TAPET vectors are Salmonella bacteria whose potential for virulence and the ability to cause septic shock are enormously reduced through the use of highly stable genetic modifications. Research reported in the January issue of Nature Biotechnology showed that the TAPET organisms' ability to trigger TNF-alpha and cause death in animal models was reduced by 10,000 fold. At the same time, the TAPET organisms retained their high selectivity for tumors over normal tissues. In addition, the TAPET organisms remained fully sensitive to a wide range of antibiotics, adding a further level of safety and control to their potential use as anticancer agents.


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Contact: Joan Kureczka
jkureczka@aol.com
415-821-2413
Kureczka/Martin Associates
11-Apr-1999


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