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Jan 12, 2007

Point’s Shares Soar with Positive Phase II Pancreatic Cancer Study

  • Point Therapeutics says its lead pancreatic cancer drug improved survival in almost half the patients enrolled in a Phase II study who had not received chemotherapy before. The company found no toxicities and has decided to proceed with the study of talabostat plus gemcitabine in patients with stage IV metastatic pancreatic cancer.

    Point’s shares jumped 45% to open trading at $1.16. The company expects final results from the study in the middle of 2007.

    Of the 21 evaluable patients who entered the study at least six months ago, 10 survived more than six months. In addition, 31 patients are currently evaluable for tumor response. To date, three patients have demonstrated a clinical response to treatment, including one complete response and two partial responses. Also, one patient with metastatic disease to the liver experienced a complete response to treatment.

    "It's encouraging to see Point's preclinical work potentially translating into clinical benefits for patients," says George emetri, M.D., a member of Point's clinical advisory board and director of the Ludwig Center at Dana-Farber/Harvard. "Point has demonstrated preclinically that talabostat is a potent inhibitor of fibroblast activation protein (FAP), an enzyme that is highly expressed in pancreatic cancer and is believed to promote tumor growth.”

    Talabostat is currently in two Phase III trials for non-small-cell-lung cancer, two Phase II trials for metastatic melanoma, and a Phase II trial for chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

Do you agree that ecstasy should be studied for its potential therapeutic benefits?

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