Positive results prompt expansion of drug trial

Maryland Watch

November 13, 1996

EntreMed Inc., a Rockville biotechnology company, said yesterday that its clinical trial of a drug to treat brain cancer patients was being expanded based on some positive results.

EntreMed's stock rose $1 in trading yesterday to close at $14.75.

The trials of thalidomide -- a drug banned years ago when it was found to cause birth defects -- are sponsored by the National Cancer Institute and being performed by EntreMed and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.

Doctors reported that magnetic resonance imaging showed a "suggestion of reduction in tumor size" in two of 15 patients in the trials, the company said. The number of patients being treated has been increased from 15 to 35.

"We are expanding the trial because there was a suggestion that thalidomide might have some effect," said Dr. James M. Pulda, National Cancer Institute senior investigator.

"It is very early and we won't know for some time," said David M. Steinberg, an analyst with Volpe, Welty & Co. But because brain cancer is a disease that few people survive, "any hint that this could work is positive," Steinberg said.

Pub Date: 11/13/96

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