More MS news articles for May 1999

Angiotech Announces Positive Results From Multiple Sclerosis Study

Monday May 10, 9:14 am Eastern Time
Company Press Release

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 10, 1999-- Angiotech  Today at the BT Alex. Brown Incorporated Health Care Conference in Baltimore, MD, Angiotech Pharmaceuticals, Inc. will present promising initial treatment results from its phase I/II clinical study of micellar paclitaxel for the treatment of secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (MS) - a condition which currently has no approved treatment.

A total of 29 patients received six monthly doses of micellar paclitaxel, the active ingredient in Taxol® (the world's best selling anticancer drug), and were evaluated for the drug's effect on overall disability and function, quality of life and changes in the amount of brain tissue scarring as demonstrated by MRI. A significant percentage of patients showed favorable trends in all of the above parameters. The complete clinical results will be presented at a major neurology conference this fall by the study's principal investigator, Dr. Paul O'Connor of St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto.

Based on these impressive results, Angiotech has elected to continue patient treatments for ethical and compassionate purposes. "We expect that most of the patients will remain on therapy for an additional six months (at 50 mg/m2/month) and we are optimistic that the encouraging results observed to date will continue," said Dr. O'Connor. The patients will be assessed for clinical and neurological changes and MRI evaluation will be conducted at the beginning and end of the treatment extension.

Although the study's primary objective of demonstrating safety and tolerability of the drug was met (no drug-related serious adverse events were reported in any of the patients), the finding that a significant proportion of the patients appeared to benefit from the therapy has led the Company to accelerate its clinical development. As a result, Angiotech also plans to initiate a later stage clinical study by the end of the year.

Multiple sclerosis is a chronic inflammatory and progressive disease, with debilitating neurological symptoms occurring over a period of several years. Although the disease does not result in early death, it disables patients by disturbing vision, strength, balance and sensation, as well as causing fatigue and cognitive problems. The estimated 1999 U.S. treatment market for MS is US$891 million.

Angiotech Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a Canadian pharmaceutical company dedicated to the development of medical device coatings and treatments for chronic inflammatory diseases through the reformulation of the anticancer drug, paclitaxel. Three therapies are in clinical development: systemic micellar paclitaxel for rheumatoid arthritis, systemic micellar paclitaxel for multiple sclerosis and topical paclitaxel for psoriasis. Other programs include paclitaxel-coated stents and implants used in peripheral vascular surgery for the prevention or treatment of restenosis.

Taxol® is a registered trademark of Bristol-Myers Squibb Company

    Angiotech Pharmaceuticals Inc.
    Cathryn E. Bowden, 604/221-7676
    Russell-Welsh, Inc.
    Angela Bitting, 650/312-0700, ext. 15