WALTHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--September 21, 2006--OXiGENE, Inc. (NASDAQ: OXGN, XSSE: OXGN) today announced the publication of the results of a preclinical study evaluating the combination of vascular disrupting agents (VDAs) with an antiangiogenic drug to enhance suppression of tumor growth in mice, which appears in today's issue of the journal Science. Using an antiangiogenic drug, DC101 (ImClone Systems, Inc.), 24 hours prior to administration of either of OXiGENE's VDAs, Combretastatin-A4 phosphate (CA4P) or OXi-4503, resulted in markedly enhanced anti-tumor activity in the study.
VDAs such as OXiGENE's CA4P and OXi-4503 have been shown to cause rapid occlusion of existing tumor blood vessels which leads to massive intratumoral necrosis. However, VDA-treated tumors can regrow in the tumor periphery. This regrowth is thought to be caused in part by an acute mobilization of circulating endothelial progenitor cells (CEPs). Antiangiogenic drugs, such as DC101, inhibit growth of new blood vessels and disrupt the acute mobilization and levels of CEPs. Dr. Kerbel, a Canada Research Chair and a Professor in University of Toronto's Department of Medical Biophysics and Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, led the team investigating the mechanistic basis for combining these two classes of agents. His team hypothesized that a rapid, reactive mobilization of CEPs to the viable tumor rim, during or after VDA treatment, might contribute to tumor regrowth and that adding an antiangiogenic agent would mitigate this effect. His study results indicate that prevention of the spike in circulating endothelial progenitor cells (CEPs) by antiangiogenic drugs or genetic manipulation resulted in markedly enhanced VDA antitumor activity.
Dr. Kerbel commented, "Because vascular disrupting drugs like CA4P and OXi4503 are known to preferentially target areas of tumors that are much less susceptible or even resistant to other anti-cancer therapies, including chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and antiangiogenic therapy, they would seem particularly ideal for combination treatments with these therapies - for which there is growing preclinical evidence. We believe that our results now provide a mechanism to explain the basis for the superior potential efficacy of such a combination involving an antiangiogenic drug with a vascular disrupting agent."
"We believe the findings from this study are of enormous importance, and will drive the intelligent development of our VDAs going forward. The publication of these results is particularly timely in light of our ongoing clinical trial combining CA4P and Avastin", said Richard Chin, M.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of OXiGENE, Inc.
About OXiGENE, Inc.
OXiGENE is an emerging pharmaceutical company developing novel small-molecule therapeutics to treat cancer and eye diseases. The Company's major focus is the clinical advancement of drug candidates that selectively disrupt abnormal blood vessels associated with solid tumor progression and visual impairment. OXiGENE is dedicated to leveraging its intellectual property position and therapeutic development expertise to bring life saving and enhancing medicines to patients.
Safe Harbor Statement
This news release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including those relating to the effect of the preclinical study described in this press release on the future clinical development of OXiGENE's VDAs. Any or all of the forward-looking statements in this press release may turn out to be wrong. Forward-looking statements can be affected by inaccurate assumptions OXiGENE might make or by known or unknown risks and uncertainties. Additional information concerning factors that could cause actual results to materially differ from those in the forward-looking statements is contained in OXiGENE's reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission, including OXiGENE's Form 10-Q, 8-K and 10-K reports. However, OXiGENE undertakes no obligation to publicly update forward-looking statements, whether because of new information, future events or otherwise. Please refer to our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2005 for a description of these risks.
CONTACT: OXiGENE, Inc. Investor Relations 781-547-5900
SOURCE: OXiGENE, Inc.
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