December 14, 2005

EntreMed has obtained a composition of matter patent for a highly purified form of its key experimental drug, cancer treatment Panzem, extending patent protection until 2020, the company said recently.

Panzem (2-methoxyestradiol), also known as 2ME2, is currently in clinical trials for cancer, and is in preclinical development for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

"The composition of matter claims for 2ME2 will provide substantial added patent protection for our lead clinical candidate," EntreMed's president and CEO, James Burns, said in a statement. The new patent claims cover a form of Panzem that is more than 99.5 percent pure and substantially free of steroid contaminants; the "novel composition" of the pure form decreases the potential for unwanted side effects, Burns said.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office had initially rejected EntreMed's composition claims for Panzem, but the decision was reversed on appeal by the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences, EntreMed said.

Panzem attacks tumors in three ways: disrupting the intracellular structure necessary for rapid division of cancer cells, inducing cell death and cutting off tumor blood supply.

On Nov. 22, EntreMed said the FDA had accepted EntreMed's investigational new drug application for another one of its experimental cancer drugs, ENMD-1198. EntreMed said it would begin clinical trials with ENMD-1198 for cancer starting in 2006.