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Raven Biotechnologies, Inc. Announces RAV12 Phase 1/2a Study Results To Be Presented at American Society of Clinical Oncology


3/11/2008 10:49:27 AM

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., March 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Raven biotechnologies, inc., a privately held company focused on the discovery and development of monoclonal antibody therapeutics (MAbs) for cancer, today announced that an abstract detailing results from the RAV12 Phase 1/2a trial has been accepted as a poster discussion presentation at the 2008 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). The presentation is scheduled for May 30, 2008. Dr. Nancy Lewis of the Fox Chase Cancer Center is the abstract's first author and will make the presentation on behalf of the study's participating investigators.

The study, which enrolled 53 patients with adenocarcinomas bearing the RAAG12 antigen, particularly those of gastrointestinal (GI) origin, was conducted at 5 institutions in the US, the Sarah Cannon Cancer Center in Nashville, TN; the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, PA; Premiere Oncology in Santa Monica, CA; the University of Miami Medical Center in Miami, FL; and the Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, DC.

About GI Cancers

Adenocarcinomas are malignant tumors of the epithelial cells that line glands or viscera. They typically spread by way of the circulatory or lymphatic systems and are poorly treated after metastatic dissemination. More than 90 percent of colon, stomach and pancreatic tumor specimens express the RAV12-defined antigen, RAAG12. Adenocarcinomas arising elsewhere, such as breast, endometrial, ovarian, lung and prostate, display the antigen at lower frequency.

About RAV12

RAV12 is a novel, chimeric monoclonal antibody that is directed against a primate-specific glycotope (sugar structure) that is widely displayed on the surfaces of tumor cells, particularly those of gastrointestinal origin (gastroesophageal, pancreatic, and colorectal cancers). Preclinical studies have demonstrated that RAV12 may kill tumor cells in a number of ways: first, the antibody is directly cytotoxic to a human colon cancer cell line in vitro through induction of oncotic cell death, a form of cell death characterized by cell and organelle swelling and loss of membrane integrity; second, the antibody mediates antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity; third, the antibody mediates complement dependent cell killing; and finally, the antibody alters cellular signaling required for cell survival. RAV12 is highly efficacious in human colon, gastric, and pancreatic tumor xenograft models in vivo and has been found to be well tolerated in repeat dose primate toxicology studies.

About Raven

Raven biotechnologies, inc. (http://www.ravenbio.com) is a privately held biotechnology company focused on the development of monoclonal antibody therapeutics for treating cancer. Raven's lead product candidate, RAV12, targets adenocarcinomas and is in clinical development for the treatment of gastrointestinal and other cancers. Raven's discovery process simultaneously identifies cell-surface drug targets and the antibody therapeutics to regulate them. Our focus on biological function allows us to rapidly identify novel target antigens and therapeutic candidates in their native configuration in the intact cell membrane. Our integrated approach is based on proprietary methods for optimizing the production of MAbs targeting cell-surface proteins, including the use of human tissue-specific progenitor and tumor stem cell lines developed at Raven.

To date Raven has identified multiple candidate therapeutic MAbs for many cancer indications including lung, colon, pancreatic, prostate, breast, brain, and ovarian cancer.

On November 12, 2007, Raven and VaxGen Inc. , a biopharmaceutical company, announced that their respective boards of directors unanimously approved a definitive merger agreement. The merger is expected to create a drug development company with a robust pipeline of monoclonal antibody candidates in oncology, proprietary antibody discovery platforms, biopharmaceutical manufacturing capabilities and sufficient cash to fund operations at least through the end of 2009. The merger is expected to close in the first half of 2008.

CONTACT: Stephen Worsley, Business Development of Raven biotechnologies,
inc., +1-650-624-2662, sworsley@ravenbio.com; or Ellen Rose of Availe
Communication, +1-650-387-8746, for Raven biotechnologies, inc.

Web site: http://www.ravenbio.com/



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