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Genomic Drug from Human Genome Sciences Enters Phase II Trials

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ROCKVILLE, Md.--Human Genome Sciences announced the successful completion of a phase one study of the drug Myeloid Progenitor Inhibitory Factor-1 and said it plans to advance the drug to phase two studies this year. If successful, it would be the first such product based on genomic research.

Human Genome Sciences CEO William Haseltine said, "The new drug was discovered using computers to search for drug candidates amongst the virtually complete set of human genes that we had discovered earlier. The drug was selected for clinical trials not only for its efficacy in preclinical model system studies, but also because these studies showed it had little or no side effects. The genomics approach to drug discovery gives us the power to choose what we believe is the best candidate among many alternatives."

Haseltine added, "It is now evident that Human Genome Sciences has built the infrastructure necessary to convert genomic data to drug candidates that can be tested clinically." The company said its genomic approach to drug development permits many drug candidates to be tried before selecting ones that may have the best chance for success in humans.

The company said MPIF-1 has the potential to improve the safety of anticancer treatment by reducing hematopoietic toxicity. Pre-clinical studies show that MPIF-1 can shield hematopoietic tissues from the toxic effects of many cancer drugs. If the drug proves to be effective in humans, it has the potential to improve the safety of many types of cancer treatment by reducing neutropenia and thrombocytopenia.

Japanese chemical company Takeda has exercised an option to develop MPIF-1 in Japan and will assume full responsibility for clinical trials and sales there. Human Genome Sciences will receive milestone payments and substantial royalties for the product's development and commercialization there.

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