SAN DIEGO, Calif--IDEC Pharmaceuticals Corporation has begun a phase III trial of its anti-lymphoma antibody IDEC-C2B8 in patients with relapsed low-grade and follicular non-Hodgkin's lymphomas. The company is developing the agent in collaboration with Genentech, Inc.
Up to 200 patients in this single-arm, single-agent trial will receive four weekly infusions of IDEC-C2B8.
The antibody binds to the CD20 antigen, which is expressed on the surface of mature B cells and B-cell tumors, but not on B-cell precursors or plasma cells. Host defenses are thus recruited to kill both malignant and normal B cells. After treatment, the normal B cells regenerate from stem cells within months,IDEC said.