Peregrine tech could guide cancer drugs

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peregrine pharmaceuticalsBiotech drug developer Peregrine Pharmaceuticals Inc. said Tuesday that a recently published animal study showed a technology it licenses could be effective in determining what cancer treatment works in a given patient sooner.

An animal study appearing in the Jan. 1 edition of Clinical Cancer Research showed that microbubbles used in mice being treated for pancreatic cancer allowed ultrasound imaging to determine whether cancer therapies designed to choke off the blood supply to tumors were working or not.

The study used the Vascular Targeting Agent technology that Peregrine licenses exclusively from the University of Texas from Southwestern Medical Center, which conducted the study appearing the journal.

Peregrine said such a microbubble product could better direct cancer therapy by determining sooner what works and what doesn't work. The company said that cancer treatments such as Genentech Inc.'s Avastin, which prevents the formation of blood vessels to tumors, only work in about 26 percent to 35 percent of patients according to recent studies.

"This technology could have potential not only for evaluating the effectiveness of currently approved agents such as Avastin but also for assessing new anti-angiogenesis approaches currently in clinical development, and eventually for evaluating the effectiveness of anti-angiogenic agent cocktails, which are likely to be developed as more products in this class are approved," said Steven W. King, Peregrine president and chief executive, in a statement.

Peregrine shares rose 4 cents, 3.6 percent, $1.16 in morning trading on the Nasdaq. Shares have traded between 91 cents and $1.99 over the past 52 weeks.

source Business Week