MENLO PARK, Calif--Ansan, Inc., an operating company of Titan
Pharmaceuticals, has received FDA approval to start a phase I
trial of its butyric acid derivative AN-9 in patients with solid
tumors. In preclinical studies, AN-9 demonstrated broad anticancer
activity and may have less toxicity than standard chemotherapeutic
agents, the company said.
The agent is a form of differentiation therapy, ie, it causes
rapidly growing immature cells to become growth-regulated, differentiated
cells, Titan said. It may also induce apoptosis in some types
of cancer cells. The trial will be conducted at San Antonio's
Cancer Therapy and Research Center.
Another Titan operating company, Ingenex, Inc., along with The
University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, has received
the FDA go-ahead for a pilot study of its multidrug resistance
(MDR) gene therapy in 10 patients receiving paclitaxel (Taxol)
for advanced breast cancer. The therapy had previously received
approval for testing in ovarian cancer patients.
The MDR-1 gene will be inserted into the patients' peripheral
blood stem cells, to protect against the dose-limiting side effects