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Pfizer, Avant Report Positive Results In Brain Cancer Vaccine June, 2008

Two small midstage studies of an experimental therapy being developed by Avant Immunotherapeutics Inc. (AVAN) and Pfizer Inc. (PFE) showed positive results in an aggressive form of brain cancer.

The results come less than two months after Pfizer cut a deal to buy the exclusive worldwide license to CDX-110 by paying $40 million and investing $10 million in Avant, as well as promising to pay $390 million in potential milestone payments and double-digit royalties.

Preliminary results from the Act II study in 23 patients, presented Monday at the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago, show an estimated overall survival of 33.1 months, compared to 14.3 months in a matched historical control group

The control arms were comprised of similarly treated patients that didn't receive the experimental cancer vaccine.

Also presented were updated data from the phase 2 Activate trial in 21 patient that show a median survival time of 26 months, compared to 15.2 months in a comparable historical cohort

CDX-110 has been granted fast-track and orphan-drug designations by the Food and Drug Administration.

Avant is enrolling the phase 2b portion of a Phase 2b/3 clinical trial called Act III with 90 patients, but noted that the phase 3 portion will not open until data is available from Phase 2b and pending further discussions with the FDA.

Under the agreement between the companies, Pfizer will pay all development costs to expand CDX-110 to treat other cancers, including breast, ovarian, advanced prostate and colorectal.

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